The Good - Reducing our environmental impact
The best ideas often come from our customers. In 2015 a repeat customer wanted to have his first yellow pair resoled. Olie was able to make this happen for him and many other customers afterward. You can read more about the resoling process here. We all care about the environment, and each little gesture counts.
Recently, we learned from SOM customers who want to minimize their environmental footprints, that they turn to a cobbler or shoe repair in their own town. These skilled people have the knowledge and equipment to give your SOMs a refreshed look. They can use the same material that we use (a 5mm Vibram), or other flexible sole material. They will sand out the remaining treads of your existing sole, and glue on a replacement piece. Choosing to have a cobbler resole your SOMs reduces the environmental impact of shipping to and from SOM, as well as supporting a local skilled trade.
The Bad - Resoling is not free
Resoling is not free for our customers. Fuel consumption is one direct impact to the environment and is something that we ask our customers to pay for.
Resoling is not free for us. It costs material and it takes labor time away from regular production. It also uses equipment and space that slow the regular production time.
The Ugly - Or the understanding of how one walks
As much as we want to stand behind our shoes, we can’t guarantee against all walking styles (meaning that wear is different from one person to the other). We make our lightweight shoes as durable as possible with the lightest material we can find. This is true from our very first models with the Vibram sole to the more recent models with the SOM cup sole. It is interesting to see how some people take longer than others to wear down their soles before resoling. This is due to how we walk and is a very personal quality that we can’t predict for any of our customers.
Conclusion: We care!
We do everything possible to go the extra mile for every customer. We care. When someone, maybe unconsciously, makes us responsible for their way of walking and what that does to the shoes, it hurts. We cannot be held responsible for that. Also, we cannot be held responsible if, for example, someone sends pictures of their shoes but then continues to wear them before sending them in - by which time the shoes are over worn and beyond resoling. We understand that customers pay for their product, but we hope they understand that there is a limit to what we are responsible for.
There is not a single day that we don’t question the journey we embarked on. Continuous doubts and challenges seem to be the norm for most business owners. We keep moving forward because we feel we help people to treat their feet right. We are so grateful for the testimonials we receive, which are a daily proof and help us to believe that we are doing it right.
Thanks so much for all you do! I love all of my SOMs! One thing that helps make my soles last longer is to purchase more pairs of SOMs and rotate them, so I am not wearing the same pair of shoes daily. :-)