Thursday, 16 June 2011

Going Barefoot? Big sales boost for

Merrell Barefoot shoes are proving be a major success story for, with the minimalist shoes topping their sales charts.

Merrell barefoot shoes are proving to be a massive hit with customers, with sales of the minimalist shoes soaring. The shoes replicate the barefoot running gait, with a design that improves the posture, helps to strengthen the muscles and improves conditioning of the feet.

The shoes are the latest addition to the range of minimalist shoes, and whilst the American brand has entered the barefoot footwear market relatively late, it would appear they are making up for lost time with sales of the new footwear range doing very well.

“Merrell shoes have always been a popular choice with our customers, but Merrell Barefoot shoes were a bit of an unknown quantity, and we were not sure how successful they would prove to be. We need not have worried, as sales are through the roof” says MD Richard Gundle.

Merrell Barefoot shoes offer a minimalist design, with only 4mm of midsole cushioning, with an ultra thin Vibram rubber outsole for traction. In contrast to many barefoot shoes, the Merrell Barefoot range also has a 1mm forefoot protection plate, to prevent injuries from rocks and roots on the trail. The shoes have zero drop from heel to toe, for a true barefoot feel, yet the shoes are highly supportive for the arches.

Whilst barefoot running may be better for foot health, but for urban runners who favour hard surfaces it is often not a practical choice.

Wearing shoes which offer protection from debris, a high-traction sole for grip in wet weather, and protection from baking hot or freezing ground allows runners to get the full benefits of being barefoot, but to do so in greater comfort.

Merrell have created their shoes with a highly versatile design, which works just as well off road, and for barefoot road running, which has, of course, increased their appeal to many runners.

Another reason why Merrell Barefoot shoes are such a popular choice? It's their attractive styling. Merrell are well known for designing and making attractive footwear, and the latest minimalist shoes are no different.

They offer the benefits of being barefoot, yet they have a versatile design which is equally well suited for casual wear as for sports, and are not noticeably minimalist shoes.

Merrell appreciates that whilst their shoes can improve the condition of the feet, it takes time to build up muscle tone and for the feet to adjust. To help its customers get used to the new way of walking, the company has released an iphone app to guide new barefoot runners through the acclimatisation process.

“We always advise our customers to start off gently, as whilst the shoes are comfortable straight out of the box, it can take some time for the feet to adapt to the new way of walking. The iphone app is a great way to get started ” says Gundle.

Despite the initial uncertainty about how its customers would take to the new footwear, it's clear outdoor enthusiasts have fallen in love with the new minimalist shoes. The shoes may only have been in stock for a few months, but sales have already overtaken other,more established, barefoot brands. With summer now just around the corner, and water sports and outdoor adventuring now firmly on the agenda, it looks likely that the strong sales will continue.

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