This month's newsletter is to give you some updates on the regular aspects of what is happening at SOM and make you feel a little bit of what is bubbling underneath. If we were pretentious, we would be comparing the work to a volcano getting ready to explode. But that might be considered by some to be an exaggeration, so let’s keep it low-key and just say that it’s a snowman in the making.
Competitor Analysis and SOM advantages
A business is always looking at its competitors and we are pleased to say SOM Footwear is more than holding its own as a company of nine years’ standing. We are presently not only the least expensive made in America sneakers, but we also offer the most services: resoling; exchange and returns available; no restocking fees; extended SOM VIP benefits; and much more.
From what our customers tell us, when comparing SOM shoes to the made in Asia sneakers, two things stand out: firstly, our customer service is second to none - more renowned than our shoes, according to our customers (although they would not be able to live without their SOMs!). Secondly, the durability of SOM Footwear surpasses every other minimalist sneaker on the market. To our credit, we stand behind our shoes, and can fix them if necessary. We learn and grow from our customers' comments because we are able to adjust and make changes more easily than other brands that have their shoes made overseas. Our devotion to taking care of our customers is the same as providing the best products possible. We simply keep both aspects as close to our heart as possible.
We feel very flattered by the observations, but we know we are not perfect. Our factory and outlet store could be more attractive. We are limited in the color schemes of the models we can offer. Our R&D progresses at a slow pace because we are careful with our spending and careful not to stretch ourselves too thin. And there is more than we can say here. As we heard recently from a famous CrossFit coach and five-time champion, Matt Fraser, in an interview on Talking Elite Fitness Podcast: “We always look at progress (of the athlete), not perfection..” This motto applies to our business perfectly. We are looking to get better at everything we do, and that takes time. Patience is a virtue that we’ve been nurturing on a daily basis since we started this company. With the patience of our long-time customers, we are improving, and so are our shoes and our company.
About the snowman in the making…
There is something we are asked over and over again: “Do you offer more than one sole?” This is not easy to answer and we would like to learn more about what you would like to see. In our survey below you can let us know what you would like to have in a different sole.
This is all we can tell you at the moment. You deserve the best, and we thrive to bring you the highest quality we can find. Stay tuned!
What is SOM-users’ favorite activity ?
We are curious to know what you are doing in your SOMs. Are you a pickle-ball pro, tennis enthusiast, full time golfer, avid cross-fitter, a super dude in a space station, airplane pilot, or any other activity that exists? We occasionally talk with some of you on the phone and it is always a pleasure to learn how your SOMs are serving you well. Over the years, we came to the conclusion that SOMs is a versatile shoe for everyone, not just for the shoemaker who creates them.
Follow this link to answer our SOM-user Survey to help us identify your favorite activity to do in your SOMs. Or send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling us more about what you do in your SOMs. For the ones who leave us their info, we’ll add your name to a giveaway surprise fun SOM basket to thank you for your time.
The return of our sports models
As of this publication, the SuperFabric, a technical material we’ve been using since 2017, is on its way. We've been out of stock for many sizes of our sports models since January and only recently did we get an update - finally! - from our supplier. This is a situation that has been repeating itself year after year and creates a ton of frustration.
For those of you who have been waiting for these models, and have signed up for the Back in Stock Alert, you should have received an email that we are back into production and we’ll ship before the end of the month. In the meantime, we are still looking for a way out of this recurring nightmare, which means searching for alternative technical fabrics. We’ll keep you posted and thank you to our customers who have been showing more patience than us.
Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days are coming up
With Mother’s and Father’s Day coming up, what better gift to give than comfortable, barefoot-feel, USA made shoes? Gifting SOMs is a great way to show your appreciation to your loved ones, and you would be spreading the joy of SOM with others!
We recently had a granddaughter gift a pair of our newest model, the Zappy, to her grandmother:
Shipping, and what is entailed
This past year you have seen two price increases on our domestic shipping, as a consequence of our trying to keep up with and adjust to the supplier's price increases. It is still not enough to cover the fees that are sometimes added on from 6 months back (they call it “label price adjustments”).
Please expect some product price increases and domestic shipping rates going up in the coming months.
More info on SOM VIP
Let’s recap on the history of SOM VIP (previously known as Shipping Prime). With that formula we were able to break even on the cost of shipping. Everyone was contributing, and it allowed us to give more benefits to everyone. We understand that the demands from consumers have changed over the years, and today people prefer to have a choice in shipping cost. Just remember that it may be the best solution available right now if you want to save on shipping. This program is best known among our long-time repeat customers. SOM VIP is great for anyone wanting to resole their shoes and get a 2nd pair or more. Save up to $37 over the course of two pairs when one is resoled. The more you buy, the more you save with SOM VIP!
Monthly Survey Giveaway
For each newsletter, we randomly choose three survey participants who will receive a giveaway of quality American-made items. The value pack is $25+, tailored specifically to each participant. This month’s giveaway survey winners are:
- S. Snow from Bailey, CO
- J. Kornisarek from Whitehouse, OH
- J. Little from Spring, TX
Our main goal is ensuring that our customers are listened to and appreciated. So we do our best to show that, not only with quality, barefoot shoes, but also with our giveaway packages. We try to exceed expectations in order to put a smile on the face of anyone who receives one of the gift packs.
The winners of the most recent giveaway made our day by telling us about their reactions to our giveaway package.
T. Hammond said, “Thank you for the awesome survey gift! I’m at the point where I'm not sure what I'd do without your shoes. Been wearing them since 2014 and I rarely need other shoes. Thanks for making such great products.”
J. Marsh wrote us a very pleasing email, part of it saying, “As this was a simple thanks from your team for taking a survey, we were anticipating a sticker or maybe something as extravagant like shoelaces. However, that was not the case. This package was unexpectedly generous.”
Dogs get high quality Colorado made treats too sometimes!
Hearing responses like this from our customers is very pleasant, knowing that we accomplished our goal of putting smiles on their faces.
The Latest Blog: The Wisdom of Age: Feet well grounded and balanced
This month we had an unexpected contributor sending us her view on what the elderly may need to consider to have grounded and balanced feet. It is delightful to read. Here is a little excerpt:
Walking over uneven ground may put a stop to the hard-earned wisdom of age. Luckily, there is a way to reduce the risks of injuries, if we can make sure the bottoms of our feet have as much contact as possible with the surface of the earth. We should make choices that can help us feel grounded and balanced.
Few of the latest testimonials
We welcome your comments and suggestions and LOVE to read about your SOMs’ adventures and day-to-day experiences. Please keep them coming; they motivate the entire team!
You can read more about the testimonials here.
These are my favorite shoes. I bought my first pair of SOM trail shoes 3 years ago and they have really held up well. These are quality made shoes that look and feel fantastic and last. The shoes are made in the US, and I like supporting products made by US craftspeople.
P. Muck from Columbia, MO April 2023
To make my point, I forgot to mention, I have two pairs of “sneakers” and around six or seven pairs of dress shoes.
I think you should concentrate on dress shoes like my red trekkers. Enough with the “sneakers.” People have more dress shoes than they do sneakers. Why no more of these? They are unique. There is way too much competition for “sneakers” out there. So, I walked into my favorite upscale watering hole last night. I had on a long sleeve red dress shirt and dress shorts. I was wearing my latest trekkers in what I call a fuschia color. I do not like them. I love my red ones. I was breaking in the new ones. The manager, standing at the entrance said: Hey! what’s with those shoes. Where’s the red ones? They would go nicely with the red shirt. See what I mean? He and a couple of others said the same thing. Those red trekkers are fancy dress shoes to me and I guess others because they remembered. Concentrate on the dress shoes, bring them out in different subtle colors. I think they would be a big seller. I probably would buy another in the red just to have another pair. But if you don’t hsve them, I cannot buy them. But I won’t buy unless I can pick from a variety of colors. People do notice and remember nice shoes But if you don’t have them, people are going to move on.
I I own two pairs of soms, one is a mesh type that I bought first the other is more of a solid these are my favorite shoes I’ve been wearing them for years and they are durable they fit my feet the toe box is large I’ve never worn a better pair of shoes and they get worn every day my feet couldn’t be happier