The shoe industry is one of the most profitable and oldest industries on earth for one very simple reason: everybody needs them! Every man, woman, and child must find a way to protect their feet. That’s about 7 billion pairs of shoes, at last count. And shoemakers have been plying their trade for 10,000 years now. The shoe industry is the textbook definition of a mature market.
What this means is that there is little room for growth or innovation, often because the top players dominate the industry and wipe out the up-and-comers before they become a threat. Huge shoemakers like Nike, Adidas and Reebok are notorious for playing hardball with any newbie who has the temerity to challenge them. Why would anyone want to enter this fray?
While it is true that the shoe market is mature, there is still a lot of money to be made. Everybody needs them, after all. A shoe company that can meet the basic needs of the public can make a mint if they can keep costs under control. As popular as athletic shoes currently are, the trend in the shoe market is moving toward shoes that are designed for everyday use. This may be due to the downturn in the global economy and the fact that most people do not have hundreds of dollars to spend on fancy shoes. They want functional shoes!
Enter Alegria Shoes
Roughly translated, the name means “joy” or “happiness” in Spanish. The company was founded in 2008 and has since become one of the most respected new players in the industry. Because they provide therapeutic footwear, they are described as a niche player. But there is nothing niche about foot problems. About 43 million Americans have chronic foot problems and most of them wear therapeutic shoes. This is a huge and largely untapped market that Alegria Shoes has stumbled upon, pardon the pun. Let us take a moment to review a few of their most popular models.
Okay, the name is a little misleading, since they are only three years old. But the design of this simple rocker shoe made it an instant classic. The removable insole, flat bottom, and extra depth around the toes were features that people with foot problem immediately appreciated. The shoe set the standard for all Alegria models to follow. It was offered in 25 distinct colors and patterns, which made it a stylish alternative to other therapeutic shoes.
Though most of their models are unisex, Alegria does make shoes just for the girls. The Paloma is essentially a feminine version of the Classic. It has been marketed as Mary Jane shoe, which means that it is a type of sandal or strap shoe with low heels and rounded, closed toes. They can be worn to the beach or to a casual get-together.
The Paloma is available in dozens of exotic colors like Fantasy Tattoo, Plum Patent, Leopard Patent, and Black Rose. But unlike most Mary Jane models, the Paloma is a therapeutic shoe. It has a rocker bottom and a comfortable heel that was specially designed for people with chronic foot problems.
A traditional clog in design, the Seville is a stylish model that is offered in five distinct colors and patterns. There is Gardenia Comic, Black Napa, Brown Flowers, Navy Crinkle, and Black Flowers. The Seville can be worn at both informal and formal affairs. They are comfortable, stylish, and affordable.