All About Kinetic Footwear™
By Cam White
ki•ne•tic adj (Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary: kinetic)
- Of or relating to the motion of material bodies and the forces and energy associated therewith
- (a) active, lively (b) dynamic, energizing (a kinetic performer)
Kinetic footwear is a new category of footwear that is quietly emerging and could well be the next trend in shoes for walking, running and exercise. Unlike the fitness/toning category, which seeks to challenge muscles with each step, kinetic footwear absorbs impact and returns energy – setting the body into motion with each step. With kinetic footwear, walking is effortless and enjoyable, encouraging the wearer to walk greater distances with less fatigue and discomfort. Kinetic shoes give you energy.
Properties of Kinetic Footwear
At first glance, some brands in the kinetic footwear category can be easily confused with many fitness/toning rocker-sole shoes currently on the market. Upon closer examination, you will notice that better than 70 percent of the shoe is in contact with the ground. Standing and walking in kinetic shoes requires no “learning curve”. There is no perceptible front-to-back or side-to-side rocking sensation. You can stand perfectly still, as you would with an ordinary shoe.
Walking in kinetic shoes is what separates this category from all other shoes. As soon as the heel strikes the ground, impact is absorbed – slowing down the rate of time it takes for the heel to make contact with the ground. As the shoe absorbs impact, it also rebounds and noticeably returns energy throughout the gait cycle. Muscles are challenged less through the mid-stance and propulsive phases of the gait cycle. With less muscle fatigue comes increased activity. Walking becomes more enjoyable, which can encourage many people to walk greater distances.
The best shoes in the kinetic footwear category have been the by-product of years of research and testing. Joya shoes have been in research and testing for years. Studies at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) show the shoe reduces ground impact forces 2-4 times that of an ordinary shoe. The multi-density PU midsole creates a rebounding sensation that smoothly propels the foot from late heel strike through toe-off, with no pressure points or “hot spots”. Some kinectic shoes reduce skeletal impact by 30-40 percent, and have 127.5% more cushioning than a control shoe, as concluded by research in South Korea and at the University of Calgary Kinesiology Department. Joya fits the description of a kinetic shoe. Some other kinectic shoes reduce skeletal impact by nearly 50 percent and return nearly the same amount of energy, according to studies performed at the US Dept. of Energy – Los Alamos National Laboratories and Sandia National Laboratory.
The Market for Kinetic Footwear
Kinetic shoes will be worn by people that value walking for enjoyment, health and exercise. Baby boomers that want to walk to remain active and healthy will buy kinetic shoes, fall in love with them and tell their friends. People with occupations that require long hours of standing and walking, such as nurses, will also purchase kinetic shoes. Those with wear-and-tear conditions, including back and hip pain, arthritis and lower extremity injuries in the knees, ankles and feet may also enjoy significant comfort and pain relief in these shoes. Kinectic shoes have provided pain relief for thousands of Americans over the past decade. The same results are now being reported from grateful customers wearing Joya shoes. Kinetic footwear has very strong word-of-mouth appeal.
The Marketing of Kinetic Footwear
Successful marketing of kinetic shoes will not emphasize skipping the gym, sculpting a chiseled body or magically burning cellulite – simply from the mere act of wearing the shoes. These claims. touted by many fitness/toning brands are very difficult to prove, and they draw scores of skeptics and critics vigorously challenging those claims. Shoes in the kinetic footwear category will have messages focused on making walking enjoyable and fun.
Do you remember the Volkswagen “Fahrvegnuegen” commercials? Joya is coining the term “Befluegelt” to describe the sensation of wearing Joya shoes. Roughly translated, “Befluegelt” means to be “empowered to fly” or to “launch one’s self”. The advertising is fun, upbeat and care-free. Tenevis is positioned as the “Shoe that Makes Walking Effortless”. Here are some examples of Joya marketing in Europe:
TV Commercial: Joya Going to Work
TV Commercial: Joya Goes to Hollywood
TV Commercial: Joya Taking the Stairs (instead of the Elevator)
Is that Joya jingle now stuck in your head? Did you notice that the emphasis was on having fun walking? It wasn’t a re-hash of fitness/toning/shaping messages. It’s about loving life on your feet. And that is what consumers want.
Sales of Kinetic Footwear Worldwide
Joya is experiencing explosive growth in Europe, the Middle East and in Asia. They launched in Spring 2009 at the GDS show in Germany, and their booth was swamped. By the end of 2010, over 600 retailers are carrying the Joya brand in Germany alone, with an estimated 600,000 pairs sold worldwide last year. This was all done with very little marketing, hype or fanfare. Joya has been a very quiet explosion overseas. What that tells me is that people are walking into shoe stores, trying on Joya and buying them. They are also telling their family and friends about the shoes. We are currently testing 4 pairs of Joya shoes on customers at Total Relief Footwear in Austin. The overwhelming majority of people who have tried on Joya shoes (about 75-80%) have asked to be contacted as soon as they arrive, and have left their names on a Joya waiting list. The first shipment of Joya shoes for the US market will be arriving in late Spring/Summer 2011.