PRESS

Shoe Retailing Today – May/June 2017

 
 

Local. Independent. Community. These words are at the heart of Kneed’s business philosophy, so much so that the company is bucking a trend that has many wholesalers competing with their vendors, even if indirectly, by also selling to consumers online. The Calgary, Alberta, company, which was launched in March 2016 and has averaged double-digit growth monthly, will only sell through independent footwear retailers. Yes, that means no “Big Box or online” sales, explains co-founder Jonathan Koops at the blog on the company’s website, www.kneedfootwear.com. READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

“Local. Independent. Community. These words are at the heart of Kneed’s business philosophy.”Mary Ruoff

Running Insight – April 2017

 
 
Jonathan Koops, co-founder of Kneed, agrees, adding that “ultimately the interaction between the customer and the product recommended by the retailer is what’s going to provide satisfaction.” He sees technology as a “crutch” in the fit process. “Depending on the sophistication of the imaging, you may end up catching a moment and making an assessment unrelated to the actual needs of the runner,” he says. “The best practice is treating technology in the retail store the way medically we treat imaging combined with a radiologist. The expertise is key for proper interpretation.”
Koops, too, is taking a skeptical stance in the short term. “The major obstacles that need to be overcome by 3-D printing are materials, cost and expertise,” he says. “The current assortment of materials available for 3-D printed insoles are generally unsatisfactory for dynamic movement like running. The running insole world has evolved to include more than hard rigid inserts.”
“The current assortment of materials available for 3-D printed insoles are generally unsatisfactory for dynamic movement like running. The running insole world has evolved to include more than hard rigid inserts.”Jonathan Koops
He points out that customers traditionally have selected off-the-shelf insoles primarily because their price points are significantly lower than custom orthotics. “When there are already excellent custom-made orthotics as an expensive option, having an insole 3-D printed for similar costs isn’t necessarily a cost advantage to the consumer, particularly when the custom orthotic also includes professional medical expertise,” he says. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Sports Insight – September/October 2016

 
 
Kneed2Run’s brand story is about connecting with consumers where they live, with company co-founders Jonathan Koops and Karen Henry noting that “everybody is local somewhere.” The brand’s packaging reflects its advocacy of independent footwear dealers. To ensure both a digital and physical experience, the brand connects Kneed consumers to their local independent retailers through collaborations with locally.com and social media. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
“The brand connects Kneed consumers to their local independent retailers through collaborations with locally.com and social media.”
Karen Henry

Running Insight – May, 2016

 
 
“Medical professionals are recommending over-the-counter insoles as a starting place for patients looking to address common foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis. The challenge for running retailers is to capture that recommendation when
there are so many other retail channels (including online and
chain stores) marketing similar messages.” READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
“Medical professionals are recommending over-the-counter insoles as a starting place for patients looking to address common foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis.”Jonathan Koops

Footwear News – March, 2016

 
 
There’s a new option when it comes to enhancing footwear comfort with a new line of after-market insoles from Kneed Footwear.
The collection, which hit the market this month, includes two styles: Kneed2Run, a full-length orthotic designed to upgrade the support and cushioning of neutral running shoes; and Kneed2Be, a 3/4 version designed to optimally fit inside casual footwear and nonperformance sneakers. Both feature a biomechanically shaped moldable base that enhances support form heel to ball of foot, while they naturally flex with the foot to maintain their shape where support is needed.
“We want to support them and believe we can build a business doing so.”Jonathan Koops
According to co-founder Jonathan Koops, whose industry background includes tenure at insole brand Sole, “Most of the insoles and orthotics on the market only take into consideration the shape of the foot and then expect you to fit and cut the insoles into a very general category of footwear (medium footwear). Your foot has a drastically different experience inside a running shoe than it does a work boot.”
The company has also taken a unique position when it comes to distribution. The products will be available exclusively at independent running stores and shoe stores that to date include Ted’s Shoe and Sports in Keene, N.H. “What was initially a relationship based decision became strongly influenced by local economics,” said co-founder Karen Henry. “Independent businesses are an integral part of economic sustainability in their local community. They pay taxes, support charities and purchase services from local professionals. Whether we are talking about coffee shops or footwear stores, you need locally owned businesses to thrive.” READ FULL ARTICLE HERE

Footwear Insight – March/april 2016

 
 
The Kneed insole line features two main products: The Kneed2Run is a full-length insole designed to replace the foot bed that comes with branded running shoes and The Kneed2Be is a three-quarter length insole for use in casual and every day footwear. Koops says of independent retailers, “We want to support them and believe we can build a business doing so.”
The Kneed Insoles feature a bio-mechanically shaped moldable base that Koops says ensures support from heel to ball of the foot. All products use Poron, which Koops says is “the best performance cushioning for impact absorption.” READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
“We are strong advocates for local independently owned and operated footwear dealers.”
KNEED Team

Running Insight – march 2016

 
 
Can two entrepreneurs make a living selling insoles exclusively to independent specialty stores? Jonathan Koops and Karen Henry are ready to find out. The pair are launching Kneed Footwear with a line of insoles that they say will be sold only through independently owned running and footwear stores. “We are strong advocates for local independently owned and operated footwear dealers,” says the company on its website. “The footwear industry is at a crossroads right now where footwear brands have put exceptional strain on those shops in our communities. You can buy anything from anywhere, and footwear is no exception.
“They are so much more than just a fitting showroom for national chains and online dealers. They are the place where you ensure your shoes fit…”Jonathan Koops
Companies (including footwear brands) are looking for growth for growth sake without adding value to the customer experience. Brands are continually being launched and developed inside independent shops only to then become a commodity sold everywhere.” Koops told Running Insight that independents are “the source of innovation, service, and giving to their communities,” adding, “They are so much more than just a fitting showroom for national chains and online dealers. They are the place where you ensure your shoes fit. They are where you kids get shoes they don’t trip in. They are where you connect with other professionals as your life needs change. They are the ones who collect and drop off
shoes to the local shelter.” Koops says of independent retailers, “We want to support them and believe we can build a business doing so.”
READ FULL ARTICLE HERE