Why Crossover Footwear Will Conquer the American Footwear Market

The crossover shoe is an amalgamation that combines elements of activity specific footwear, Running, Hiking, Biking, Camping and Hunting. And this new type of footwear just may become the most popular shoe in America.

 

Why Crossover Footwear Will Conquer the American Footwear Market

 

The crossover shoe is an amalgamation that combines elements of activity specific footwear, Running, Hiking, Biking, Camping and Hunting. And this new type of footwear just may become the most popular shoe in America.

 

High Beam Shoes

HB Shoes

 

 By 

 

    Something extraordinary is happening in the American Footwear market. A new style of footwear is taking over the after dinner walkers, rural bike routes, and city streets. It's part Hiking, part running, part biking: an amalgamation of a shoe.

 The people at High Beam Shoes call them Crossovers, and they've grown from an interesting experiment with lighting and technology to a category in itself and changing what most people know simply as "the shoe".

I am also now part of a demographic category called families with kids, and being part of this demo means feeling the market forcing us towards this footwear that we do not need or want. The footwear market does not need another “comfort shoe” or “pro sports shoe” I will never wear, or buy a $500 “self-tying” shoe. For the consumer, what is needed is a fundamental change. So what is Crossover Footwear, and how does it benefit consumers and retailers?

 Crossovers are like Asics, Brooks running or Salomon with the rough edges rounded off and 1/3 of the price. The original “big ticket” footwear, Like Nike and Adidas were built to cater to pro athletes and young wanna be’s. They employ construction methods materials and components for a specific activity….With a price tag to match. And rightfully so. But what about your average consumer?

 I know in my closet I have 4 basic categories of shoes: Dress, Work, Sneakers and maybe Flip flops or Sandals.

 Your average consumer exercises before or after work, may go camping, hiking or hunting on the weekend. Why would they spend top dollar, or any money for activity specific footwear? I haven’t even gotten to kids…I have 4.  They outgrow their shoes before I get the credit card bill. 

So, unlike a Cross trainer, the Crossover is designed to give the consumer the look and performance of the Activity Specific footwear, but the feel of a sneaker, useful tech.…. At 1/3 of the cost.

 

Crossovers represent a bridge introducing consumers that would never buy a $200 hiking/running to a middle ground that makes sense and gives the customer a reason to graduate to another level of footwear.  

 Look at it like this; My wife walks the dog every morning at 5 a.m.  She walks the neighborhood with her friends every evening after dinner and walks her Shih Tzu again before bed.  You would never convince her to spend money on activity specific footwear for that.  Her sneakers she bought 2 years ago are just fine.  However, when she saw the new “Active Lights” line from HB, she immediately said “I need those!

  

 High Beam Shoes

 My wife walking the dog in her new Crossovers

 

 Why this fundamental change is needed for Retailers?

 

For Retailers, every footwear category is a “fishing pond” with a specific amount of fish (consumer).  All the retailers are fishing in same pond with the same bait (product).  Every time a new product (bait) is introduced, it pulls sales from another product.  In other words, it just shuffles sales from old product to new.  What crossovers do is introduce a completely new fishing pond.

 The reason this is so revolutionary for retailers is that Crossovers don’t interrupt or cannibalize the existing brand sales.  For the footwear business, the crossover is what monumental, generational change looks like.  And for survival, it is necessary.

But if that's true, why is it taking so long for the crossover to hit the market? And why is it taking so long for manufacturers to start offering them? 

Regulations— Cost—lack of innovation—lack of competition made it difficult to come up with smart, reasonably priced quality footwear, but Americans still want them.

 But if “big ticket” footwear is going out of style, falling in absolute units and in market share, the things that people liked out of activity specific footwear did not go away. They have settled into the idea that they might not actually go pro with their footwear. They would not climb mountains. But they liked the option. They liked the versatility. 

 At the end of the day, what people really want, is something more sneaker like, not a “All Pro” built for moon explorers and multi-million dollar athletes. They want something more comfortable on the road, but still gives them the flexibility and utility."

High Beam Shoes in Action

 HB Crossovers

And so, the crossover is there to suck up all the people who want the good parts of the big ticket footwear without the bad.

 

 

 

Category: News