In this edition, we are introducing a new mid-top model which is the lightest of our shoe line and the most comfortable to date. We talk about the changes to our SOM VIP program and share The State of Shoe Manufacturing article from our friends at All_American.org. Not to forget our monthly winners.
With Every SOM Step
Two missions drive our stride forward on a daily basis. One is to connect our customers to the pleasure of feeling barefoot all day in a pair of healthy, zero-drop, comfortable, high-quality sneakers. The other is to provide unmatched customer service in their journey to find the perfect pair and every pair thereafter. We want every foot to be happy when they choose our soles and we are pushing our boundaries every way we can while trying to answer your needs and requests. This is our 10th year of making the perfect shoe brand and we are grateful to have you along with us on our journey.
The New Mid-Top Model
What a great way to kick off the year with a new model of shoes! Introducing the Graciano, named because it serves as a symbol of cultural diversity and global unity in the origin of names.
The Graciano is a casual yet dressy mid-top barefoot-style shoe you'll love to wear during the day, at work, or on groovy Saturday nights. It offers an even higher touch of comfort and a higher foot freedom feel than you have experienced in your SOMs casual models to this day. The material is flexible and the shoe is the lightest weight to date.
This is our second mid-top model and we raised the bar once more. You will find the same roomy toe-box in a cool, relaxed, dressy style. The upper is made with the same synthetic leather material we use in our Urban Trekker. Similar to our Urban Trekker Sepia, the color will change over time to reveal a classy vintage look, almost like an aging leather shoe.
The inside of the shoe has synthetic suede around the ankle with a lightweight mesh at the mid-foot and toe area for extra comfort. The Graciano is the lightest of our shoe line. It weighs only 8.3 ounces (235 grams) in size 8.5 Men. It is so light you'll forget you have shoes on.
Don't wait; take advantage of our early bird discount. The launch price of our Graciano is $174.00 instead of $184.00 ($10 off regular price), until January 31st. Shipment will start early February.
State of U.S. Shoe Manufacturing from All American.Org
AllAmerican.org is a group of passionate writers whose mission is to support America by spreading the word on U.S.A. manufacturing. They want to help Americans buy made-in-USA products and their website supplies you with all the information for your shopping needs, including reports and investigations. From buying socks to building your dream kitchen and anything in between.
They recently published an article investigating the state of U.S. shoe manufacturing that you will appreciate. You can find the full article here. Some of their findings will surprise you!
- 81% of Americans want to buy shoes made in the USA.
- The US imports 108 times more shoes than it produces. 25 million pairs were manufactured versus 2.7 billion pairs that were imported – more than half are from China, the world's leading shoe manufacturer; a position the U.S. had in the ‘50s when a quarter-million Americans worked in the industry.
For most people, the barriers cited are that it is difficult to find American-made shoes, and they find them pricier. No surprise on that because sourcing, materials, or equipment costs a fortune to start with, in addition to better wages.
- Since the ‘90s, there has been an 80% decline in the number of American employees in footwear manufacturing.
If we ever climb back up the shoe manufacturing employment ladder, it will be very different from what we did in the ‘50s. Automation brings a cleaner work environment, requires very specific skills, and raises the bar of efficiency. Some companies like Adidas and New Balance have tried the concept of speed-factories, and not all have been successful.
- Fun fact: how many shoes do Americans own?— an average of 19 each at any given time.
In today’s age, it is known that we spend a significant amount of our income on apparel and footwear. For the past two years we have seen a decline in consumption in general, which may be due to inflation. We do our best at SOM Footwear by offering a durable and resolable sneaker, not just because it makes sense for the environment, but because we believe life should be more about outdoor fun and less about consumption.
In conclusion, made in the USA is possible because consumers demand the products. Consumers hold the primary role by making the effort to ask for, find, and buy American made. As a shoe manufacturer, we do our best to supply your demand. As individuals, we share your love for American-made products and we can tell you that we are proud to make a difference and that we would not be able to do it without you. Thank you.
SOM VIP: Price Increase Announcement
Great news - We've loved sharing special deals and prices with our SOM VIPs. We've got lots of ideas for giving you even better value with your SOM VIP. Look ahead to new products and deals, as well as the same perks you've always enjoyed like resoling, $5 off, VIP discounts on new models.
The continued increase of costs of shipping and materials means we need to adjust the price of SOM VIP. It's been the same since 2021, and we need to catch up a bit. But SOM VIP is still a crazy good deal - for $44.95 a year you get free shipping (between $8 and $12 value per pair of SOMs), one free exchange ($16-$24 value), one free resoling ($35 value), SOM VIP exclusive deals and sales ($250 value last year), and you get to be part of the SOM VIP community of our favorite shoe friends (priceless!). Our SOM VIP program adds up to customer benefits that no other shoe company can deliver.
Thanks for being part of the SOM VIP family - we can't wait to keep serving you in 2024!
Survey Giveaway Winners
Keep contributing to our survey with your contagious enthusiasm. It makes us smile and grow. You are awesSOMe.
The winners are:
- Susan B. from Grand Rapids, MI
- Robert C. from Castle Rock, CO
- Paula K.. from Paonia, CO
Each winner will get a $20 gift certificate emailed to them individually. When the recipient uses the certificate, we will send a surprise gift inspired by their answers. Thank you all for taking the time to tell us more about yourselves.