Sunday, June 13, 2010
And if the latest models are any indication, Papa is not the only rolling stone. Men of all ages can have their Florsheim kicks as well.
NO LONGER YOUR FATHER’S SHOES
By EDWIN P. SALLAN
But even as Florsheims are now sold in more than 50 countries across the globe, the traditional image of the brand has remained largely unchanged—for better and for worse. Not anymore. Addressing criticisms of “outdated styling” while at the same time realizing the existence of much “hipper competition,” Florsheim’s latest collections aim to show that it remains relevant in the new millennium. Thomas Florsheim, Jr., great grandson of Milton Florsheim himself admits as much during a recent interview with the New York Times.
“We know what people think when they think of us. They think of wing tips, the capped toe, the really brogue shoes and that we had gotten to a point where we were very stodgy,” the younger Florsheim says. “But we’re moving the needle in terms of style.”
“They’re not quite your father’s shoes anymore,” echoes John Plummer, President of Florsheim Asia Pacific, who was in town for the opening of the latest Florsheim concept store in TriNoma. “If you look around our store now, you’ll see that brand has moved with the times, in line with the market trends. It has moved from a brand designed for the corporate person to a brand designed for all occasions.”
Plummer says Florsheim now has a good number of shoes that you can wear with jeans and chinos, such as the increasingly popular Comfortech line. These are shoes that feature Florsheim’s patented cushioned footbed technology where “comfort features are built into the shoes.” These light Comfortech shoes also boasts of the Sofred System with Toe Off, Weight Transfer and Air Flow shock resistant zones designed to reduce leg and back fatigue.
“They’re high density insoles that bounce back for maximum comfort,” says Plummer. “And if you remove the insoles, you also got a shoe that’s ready for an orthotic, that thing that replaces the footbed for a better, more comfortable fit. Not too many shoes in the market serve that kind of dual purpose.”
The current Comfortech line include penny loafer types (i.e. Wayne), casual slip-ons (i.e. Connelly, Hutton), boat shoes (i.e. Lockwood) and more. Outside of Comfortech, the classic dress shoes (i.e. Lyndon, Lexington, Berkeley) that defined the Florsheim brand are still very much available. It also has its Imperial line of classic wingtips (i.e. Florence), capped toes (i.e. Lawrence), brogues (i.e. Kenmoor) and moccasins (i.e. Lombard).
Aside from the footwear themselves, Florsheim stores also carry a complete line of shoe care products from dubbins to shoe creams which Plummer says are part of a specialized shoe care program designed for specific models made of specific materials.
“Even as we tend to move away from making traditional footwear, our still popular dress shoes will always be a part of what Florsheim is all about” says Plummer. “Florsheim continues to evolve. We really haven’t done anything revolutionary, it’s all evolutionary. I guess more than our adherence to market forces, a big reason why we’re still around is because of our uncompromising drive to maintain high quality standards.”
Florsheim shoes are exclusively distributed by Retail Specialists, Inc. and are available at Florsheim concept stores in Shangrila Plaza, Gateway, Robinson’s Galleria, TriNoma, Glorietta, Powerplant Mall, Festival Mall, Alabang Town Center, SM Mall of Asia, Ayala Center Cebu, SM Davao and SM Cagayan De Oro. Also, visit Florsheim's official site here.