Thursday, April 22, 2010

Aerosoles on my brand horizon

During a post-work stop at Marshalls, I considered (for about fifteen minutes) buying these surprisingly stylish, black patent Aerosole sandals for a mere $29.99. Nice closed heel, nice low strap around the ankle made it easy to slip into, nice low wedge. I wore them as long as I could to test their comfort, and when my left pinkie toe started to rub against the wide strap across my upper foot, my decision not to buy was made for me.

But now the brand is on my horizon. I’m ready to reconsider my long-held opinion of Aerosoles as merely derivative and not quite stylish or comfortable enough. My opinion was probably based on their all-time best seller, the 4 Give (see pink patent version below). Apologies to the number of friends who wear them!

So what’s the brand’s story? I go to their website and somehow stumble on to “About Aerosoles,” which is not on any nav bar. I find five paragraphs of lifeless prose, a lost opportunity. Sample: “Our mission statement is to be the #1 product-driven footwear company in the world.”

That’s it? Contrast a statement from one of my favorite brands, Ecco (from Zappos’s site, under Ecco FAQ): “the aim is not to sell the most shoes but to sell the best.”

I want to know about Aerosole’s flexible soles, but there is no reference to them, except for maybe three logos on the bottom of the “Our Brands” page: Aerology by Aerosoles, Sole by Aerosoles, and Flexation by Aerosoles.

But wait! Zappos comes through, under Aerosole FAQ: “What is an Aero sole?” The Aerosole is a special diamond pattern on the bottom of the sole, which adds to the flexibility, but also absorbs impact and disperses it evenly across the foot. We also incorporate “memory foam” which molds to the foot the first time you wear it and then bounces back every time instead of going flat. Many of our bottoms are a thermal plastic and poly-vinyl rubber composition, which are lightweight and flexible.

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