carinas
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Rain Boot Sneakers

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I am thinking of starting my own brand of footwear with my first product being a runner-type waterproof sneaker. I believe there is an underserved niche in the market currently for waterproof, comfortable, everyday shoes. Though rain boots are waterproof, they are rarely comfortable and often end up being the chunky kind of galoshes that remind us of stepping into puddles when we were young. This shoe would be far from that. It would be sleek, lightweight, and waterproof.

My target market would be middle-class to upper-class adult women in the United States. My shoes would retail for probably a bit more than the average rain boot, in the mid-market range. After releasing this initial product, I could see myself expanding beyond waterproof runners to other comfortable types of footwear, like a comfortable heel, a lightweight winter boot, etc.

One risk I do see is my lack of product and manufacturing knowledge. I have never worked in retail, but I do bring business experience to the table. As a former management consultant and current MBA, I have worked with retail clients, and my target market is very much similar to myself, so I feel that I can understand my customer quite well.

I am looking for feedback on my idea as well as someone who can partner with me, particularly someone with retail and/or fashion design experience.

5 Comments

  1. This answer was edited.

    Hi @carinas
    I don’t know much about the design and manufacturing of shoes but, as a potential customer, I will say that one of my requirements for athletic wear is breathability. My shoes should not only keep outside water out but also to allow inside water (aka my sweat) to evaporate as well to avoid any unpleasant odors emanating throughout my house 🙂
    Other than that, you may what to check out some of the new hydrophobic coatings that clothing manufacturers are applying on clothes — perhaps that’s a way to achieve the waterproofing of a boot while retaining the flexibility of a trainer.
    Godspeed!

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  2. Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of inventory and products held with these different shoes– I imagine a waterproof trainer has different materials, manufacturing processes etc, than a comfortable heel, lightweight boot, etc. I also wonder if there are branding implications to being the go-to brand for comfort vs. for aesthetics/appeal when someone is considering buying a trainer vs a pair of heels. Just a few things to think about.

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  3. Really cool idea! I could see myself being your future customer. Unfortunately, I’m probably not the right partner for you experience-wise, but you’d have a future customer in me!

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