You can count on your toes the number of reasons to choose SOM Footwear. From how our shoes are made to how they treat your feet to the value they bring over the course of their lifetime, here are the Top 10 benefits of SOM shoes.
10. Zero drop
Our flexible, 8mm, zero drop soles means feet are flat to stand and step with level precision. Elevated heels force the feet off-center by lowering the toes and raising the heels. Even a subtle slope to the natural bend of the foot can tilt us forward, adding less security on unstable or uneven surfaces.
Balance comes from the ground up, and solid foundations are built on even structures. By keeping your toes and heels level and closer to the ground, not only will your posture and stability improve over time, but so will your awareness and connection to the world around you.
9. Wide Toe-box
Our wide toe-boxes give one of the greatest gifts toes could ask for…space. While traditional tapered shoes squeeze toes into an arrowhead shape, leading to rubbing, sweating, and blisters, SOM’s toe-boxes are spaced to fit the natural shape of the human foot: narrow at the heel and wide at the front. Room for toes to breathe not only benefits foot health, but strengthens our ability to walk longer without feeling sore.
Lightness means flexibility, and flexibility means your footwear moves how you want to move, not the other way around. SOM shoes, like the Nutrail Air, disappear on your feet, and with the enhanced breathability of many of our materials, your toes will thank you for the unrestrained breeze.
In addition to all of our models being vegan, by using as many America-sourced materials as possible, from our lace bands to our zero-drop soles to the SuperFabric and power knits fabrics that comprise the majority of our footwear, we support manufactures held to a higher environmental standard than other countries.
In addition to sourcing our materials from as close to home as possible, we reuse our production scraps, reducing waste and ensuring every fabric, stitch, lace, and sole is used to its fullest.
Our resoling process to extend the life of your favorite pair, involves removing the old soles, which are shipped to a recycling plant that breaks the materials down to be reused as crumb rubber for playgrounds and running tracks. We then adhere fresh soles and ship back your shoes for a renewed sense of motion.
6. Foot Health
The less a shoe alters the natural shape of the foot, the more relaxed it will travel. All SOMs are certified by Correct Toes, Northwest Foot & Ankle's highest level of certification. This means our shoes meet their strictest criteria for natural foot health (learn more here).
(Disclaimer: While we believe feet can be greatly improved by wearing SOMs, we are not podiatrists or physical therapists! We are presenting information we have found helpful and insightful, but as with anything, your mileage may vary!
- Back pain - Overbuilt running shoes with unnecessary padding and thick soles cause your feet to strike heel first, which, according to Harvard scientist Dr. Daniel Lieberman, is like someone "hitting your heel with a hammer.” Barefoot-inspired shoes help back pain by allowing your foot to strike the ground on the ball or middle part of the foot first, allowing your foot to act as a natural shock absorber (learn more here).
- Hammertoe - Hammertoe is an unnatural bend of the toes where the 2nd, 3rd and/or 4th toe are permanently bent downwards. Wide toe box shoes can help hammertoe by allowing the affected muscles and toes the room they need to stretch into a more natural shape (learn more here).
- Plantar Fasciitis - Plantar fasciitis is a very common cause of uncomfortable pain in the heel. Minimalist shoes with a thin sole can reduce shock and help relieve plantar fasciitis (learn more here).
- Bunions- Any shoe that is narrow or forces the toes into an unnaturally pointed position may cause a bunion. But proper footwear with wide toe-boxes can prevent or help bunion pain (learn more here).
5. Foot Strength
Power and speed come from the strength of our feet, not the footwear tied to them. We exercise and tone so many parts of the body, why not the feet?
SOM shoes are designed to put your best foot forward by embracing the unique shapes of our feet. A wide toe-box gives your toes room to spread and breathe. A zero drop sole at 8mm thick provides flat, even surface-contact for better posture, balance, and stability. Lightweight, durable materials made in the US flex and bend with your steps without slowing them down. All of these features combine to strengthen your feet as they move and connect you to your activity as if you were barefoot.
Whether you're in the gym or walking the dog, SOM’s barefoot-feel shoes put your feet in control the natural way, with as little between you and your steps as possible.
4. Customer Care
Through social media, newsletters, and email correspondence, it’s important to us to keep the lines of communication with our community as open and active as possible. If a customer emails or calls about an order, it’s only a few feet away to give them an update.
By reading every comment and encouraging healthy discussion, there is always opportunity to learn and refine. If SOM can make something better or turn an idea into a future model, the company is greater for it.
3. Resoling Value
Every model of SOM footwear can be resoled, increasing the miles of adventure your favorite pair can take you on. While other brands may think little about refreshing their shoes, and instead, push for you to buy new pairs, we designed our SOM Footwear with renewable soles to ensure the resources used in each pair have the longest, most purposeful life possible.
The longer you can wear the same shoes, the less you need to spend on new pairs, which during these high inflation times, is an amazing feeling.
For more information, please view our resoling guide for images on how to tell when soles are ready, as well as what steps to take when they are ready for us to resole.
2. Handmade in America
We have designed, cut, sewed, shaped, soled, laced, and boxed every pair of SOMs from our Colorado factory for over 8 years! Our hands are always involved, and our eyes are ever-present for quality assurance. If we spot something wrong, it is fixed or restarted no matter how far along it is in the process. We want you to be as proud to buy American-made as we are to make it.
Think outside the shoe box in versatile footwear designed to frame your feet for whatever they choose. While other brands dictate the activity, overcrowding closets with a sole for every occasion, SOM Footwear empowers feet to steer the action. Work, walk, run, bike, hike, lift, and relax without ever looking down to change shoes. As the only made in Colorado sneaker company, SOM packs seven shoes in one, like a Swiss Army knife of footwear.
To Sum Up
Whether you choose us for our handmade-in-America quality, our foot strengthening and toe-relaxing construction, our long-lasting versatility, or all of the above, SOM Footwear exists to serve your feet and make your adventures as comfortable as possible.