By Lina Kirby, Aetrex Marketing
Ladies own about 20 pairs of shoes on average but I don’t know about you—I tend to not ask too many questions beyond, “Is it cute?” and “Is it comfortable?” when I’m shopping.
Whenever I walk into a shoe store, I feel like I’m on a mission. I scan the aisles, zero in on a particular size and style, and block everything else out. What I think a lot of us shoe-shoppers don’t realize is the amount of creativity and hard work that goes into every single style you see on the shelf.
The other day, I got to take a fun behind-the-scenes look at the Product Development team at Aetrex. When you step into their office, it’s like Christmas in Santa’s Workshop if he only catered to shoe lovers. Everyone’s desks are surrounded by shoes and drawings, style guides and color palettes, leathers and soles, oh my! Rows of Aetrex shoes fill the walls and prototypes for the future are scattered about but the team is laser-focused on making sure each individual shoe is just right.
All Aetrex shoes incorporate the “Healthy 3”—Lynco® orthotic footbeds, memory foam cushioning, and antimicrobial linings to create the healthiest shoes you’ll ever wear. And this team is exactly who is responsible for making sure all of that happens in a cute and stylish little package!
The in-house footwear designer’s sketches are neatly and proudly displayed as constant reminders of the goal ahead. This is where all of the strategic creativity is born—to create shoes that are unique and fashionable but incorporate all of the important healthy elements that make Aetrex, Aetrex!
But what I find to be the coolest part of the process is the way this team knows every nuance of every shoe–how moving a strap a few millimeters can change the entire fit or adding a little extra stretch can make a world of difference. The mad scientists in the group look like they’re performing surgery with small utility knives and bottles of crazy glue to get each shoe just right.
The team asks office employees to come in and fit test the shoes, watching the way the shoe moves as they walk, taking vigorous notes if something is bothersome to the foot or feels extra-comfortable. They even have testers stand on top of a makeshift platform to get a closer look. I got to do it, too… made me wish I got that pedicure I kept putting off!
Understanding all of the details that go into one single Aetrex shoe–the arch support, the adjustability features, the leathers and stitching, and beyond–it gives me a much deeper appreciation for the work done to create the pair of shoes I choose to keep me comfortable all day long. Hopefully now when you take a look at the long line of finished Aetrex products, you’ll see them in a whole new light!