The name may sound new to you, but this footwear company has walked the Earth longer than your grandparents have. And for a brand worn by the late and legendary Michael Jackson, it deserves more clout.
We’re talking about Florsheim shoes, a maker of orthotic shoes for men that has existed since the late 19th century. If you’re looking for a pair of orthotic-friendly shoes, you should consider Florsheim as a serious contender.
They know more than just a thing or two about keeping your feet comfortable.
History of the Florsheim as an Orthotics Friendly Shoe Brand
- 1892 - Milton Florsheim founded The Florsheim Shoe Company in Chicago, and opened its first retail store soon after. The shoes rapidly gain popularity and get featured in magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post and The Cosmopolitan.
- 1896 - The Florsheim logo gets printed onto the pull strap and interior of each shoe, for the purposes of branding and as a sign of authenticity (to differentiate from imitators/fakes).
- 1900 - Florsheim introduces the Flor-Scope - an x-ray device - in retail stores to help customers choose the best-fitting shoes.
- 1917 - Florsheim turns into one of the most notable manufacturers and suppliers of boots for American soldiers deployed in World War I.
- 1926 - The company launches America’s first square-toed shoe, which starts appearing in magazines and begins a new trend in fashion.
- 1941 - The footwear brand starts manufacturing shoes for American troops entering World War II. Half of their shoe production goes towards the American war effort.
- 1949 - The Florsheim Shoe Company showcases a new, state-of-the-art factory located in downtown Chicago. They also start bringing shoes out from the back/inventory rooms so that customers can browse and try them on. They're the first company to do so and this practice has become standard practice at all footwear stores ever since.
- 1966 - The brand becomes so popular that they start selling one pair of shoes every 4 seconds.
- 1984 - Florsheim introduces The Florsheim Express Shop at its retail stores, which is a computer kiosk that allows customers to order any shoe rather than being restricted to what’s in stock. Again, they were the first to introduce this revolutionary feature that is now a standard option at footwear stores worldwide.
- 2002 - The Weyco Group purchases The Florsheim Shoe Company.
- 2010 - Florsheim partners with menswear designer, Duckie Brown to produce a series of modern reinterpretations of classic shoe designs.
- 2015 - Florsheim partners shoe designer and craftsman, George Esquivel, to design a series of handcrafted shoes featuring some of the company’s most exquisite designs yet.
- 2017 - The company celebrates their 125th anniversary by creating a limited-edition collection of vintage shoes that harken back to the brand’s classic era. They do this by re-imagining five of their classic silhouettes.
Florsheim has achieved some other notable feats during their long tenure, including one really incredible one earlier on in their history. During The Great Depression (1930s), the company amassed an astounding 2,500 employees, 5 factories, 71 retail outlets, and 9,000 dealers along with a network of regional wholesalers. That’s why the Florsheim brand deserves to have respect put on its name.
Why Florsheim Works Great With Orthotic Solutions
Florsheim has had roots in providing, or at least, supporting, orthotic solutions from the earliest days of their existence. As was mentioned in their history timeline above, they introduce the usage of x-rays to help customers find the best-fitting shoes. Although this method is a bit dated by today’s standards, they were pioneers in making comfortable shoes.
Fast-forward to now, things haven’t changed. Florsheim doesn’t invest so much into advanced or cutting-edge technology as other brands have, but they do craft shoes that are orthotic-friendly nonetheless. Many of their shoes feature components that provide comfort and support to the foot or allow customers to insert orthotic solutions in the shoes.
Florsheim Orthotic Features
- Memory foam footbedding - Memory foam isn’t foreign or sophisticated, but it’s nevertheless a respected feature for orthotic shoes. Memory foam footbedding moulds to the shape of your foot, which relieves pressure off of your foot and thus provides relief from foot pain.
- Flexsole technology - This feature adds a degree of flexibility to the shoe so that your foot can move in a natural pattern. It also provides shock absorption to protect the foot from pain and discomfort.
- Removable footbeds - Many Florsheim shoes contain removable footbeds that allow customers to insert orthotic solutions such as custom orthotic insoles.
Florsheim also adds little orthotic touches here and there such as leather linings. They add cushioning and feel comfortable, which is a welcome addition for times you have to wear these shoes for long periods.
Design of Florsheim Shoes
If there’s one word we could use to describe Florsheim shoes it would be “elegant”. Just take a look at Florshiem’s product lines. A quick glance at their shoes will show an affinity for detail, making sure that minute elements “pop”. With that said, Florsheim shoes aren’t exhibitionist displays of shoe design, but rather, subtle displays of craftsmanship.
They don’t go overboard with colour.
A typical Florsheim shoe will feature one colour or two shades of the same colour (monochromatic theme). Some shoes will have a base colour (ie. blue) for the body of the shoe, and a contrast of colours, perhaps for the sole (ie. white) and near the sole (ie. beige). But their colours are fairly straightforward.
However, their design focus is on stitching and weaving. Since many of their shoes are dress or smart casual, you can find various styles of stitch patterns and decorative broguing designs. They’re the kind of designs that make you want to hold the shoe up close while you turn it around to appreciate its details. A good number of footwear brands who make orthotic-friendly solutions often forfeit classy designs for comfort. Florsheim, on the other hand, has learned how to blend orthotic-friendliness with aesthetic appeal.
Just take a look at some of Florsheim products we carry here at Orthotics Direct:
Florsheim Makes Orthotic-Friendly Shoes that Feel as Good as they Look
Florsheim has created a reputation that stands the test of time. Their shoes are not only designed with the utmost artistry, but they’re also made for individuals with orthotic solutions in mind. If you’re on the market for a shoe that will turn heads but also feel comfy, you owe it to yourself to try a pair of Florsheims. You’ll give yourself the perfect blend of class and comfort.
Looking for shoes that are at once classy yet orthotic-friendly like Florsheim? Take a look at our selection of brands to find your ideal fit!