Many people complain about always having tired feet, but they probably haven’t worn a pair of SOM Footwear yet. SOM, which stands for Sense of Motion, is a company that was built to help people take good care of the most overlooked part of their body – their feet.
SOM definitely knows that we can only achieve so much in life if our feet are always ready to chase and make those things we think of come true.
Their shoe factory has views of the San Juan mountains right from the doorway! When trying a pair of SOM sneakers on, I discovered not only how comfortable they are, but also that they are made specifically for the rugged terrain of the Rockies using high quality, durable materials. I was intrigued by this lightweight, comfortable sneaker and needed to find out more about SOM Footwear’s factory and inspiration.
Minimalist Shoes made in Montrose
SOM Footwear was established in September 2012. During this time, not so many local companies offer minimalist footwear. That was when he decided to manufacture shoes that are not only great for everyday casual use, but would also be comfortable for any type of activity, whether that is running, biking, hiking, dancing, or anything one may think of doing. SOM Footwear was touted as everyone’s go-to shoe, providing that barefoot-kind of comfort.
They manufacture and sell barefoot-inspired, gender-neutral footwear. Their shoes feature wide toe boxes, and flat and flexible soles. Made with lightweight yet durable materials, they provide all the generous comfort without the worry of it giving up on its wearer in the middle of a taxing activity.
The company is proud to announce that their shoes are all made in their factory outlet store, located in Montrose, Colorado. Currently, SOM Footwear ships to almost everywhere around the world, except China, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
The founder, Olivier Marchal- an avid runner himself – was experiencing back pain that stopped him in his tracks from what he loved to do – run. He realized how vital having proper footwear was when he experienced this back pain from running. Three years later, he read “Born to Run” by Christopher McDowell (affiliate link). Olivier was inspired by the minimalist footwear of the Tarahumara Indians of Copper Canyon in Mexico who are known for incredible feats of long-distance running. He then decided to ditch his running shoes and see for himself if this would eliminate his back pain… and to his surprise, it worked like a charm.On a dirt road in Colorado, Olivier took off his running shoes and set out barefoot. The pain was gone. In search of minimalist footwear on the market, he was discouraged to discover the underwhelming availability of minimalist shoes, with most of them coming from overseas. Olivier then wondered,
Could I make my own shoes, not only for runners but for anyone who wishes to walk without discomfort in their feet or in their body?
Through enormous amounts of research, patience and perseverance, Olivier’s vision of the perfect shoe came to life, and SOM Sense of Motion Footwear was born. His vision expanded into a greater dream by being able to give back to the community by making a quality, casual shoe made right here in the USA with domestically-sourced materials when possible, along with minimizing waste and re-using scrap materials. SOM Footwear strives to use eco-friendly practices wherever they can.
They’re also committed to keeping their factory, employees and business in the USA. This enables their footwear to have the American flag or “Made in USA” tag proudly sewn into each and every shoe they make.
SOMs are made simply, yet are a durable shoe made with common sense, allowing the foot to perform its natural function. The shoe offers a very lightweight feel, as if you were barefoot, with that ‘wiggle toe’ space that your piggies will thank you for. SOMs are the lightest shoe I have ever tried on.
Their shoes feature a wide toe box and a flat, flexible sole. The natural footshape encourages you to rediscover your original sense of motion as your toes have plenty of space to spread out and be free. SOM Footwear even carries some vegan models.
The FactoryThe entire local SOM Footwear team contributes their talents and skills to produce the best sneaker for their customers. The team is directly involved in every step of the production ensuring a high quality, ethically made shoe.
They even offer factory tours which are often given by SOM Footwear co-founder, Nathalie Bouchard. Either stop by when their Factory Outlet Store is open on Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or make an appointment for another day. Nathalie or another team member will warmly welcome you and cheerfully size you for your very own pair of SOMs in their factory store.
SOM Footwear loves their customers and appreciates their loyalty. This is evident in their repeat customer benefits program, which includes free shipping, a re-soling program for their repeat customers as well as a referral program.
With its rugged terrain, from mountains to sand dunes to desert, Colorado’s playground knows no boundaries – and neither do SOM shoes. This is a versatile, casual sneaker that can pass as an office shoe but also handle hiking a trail. If you are looking for work life balance for your feet, this is the shoe.
SOM Footwear is proud to have all their operations based in their home state and enjoy a lifestyle that encourages you to explore and appreciate the natural beauty around. They are proud to produce sneakers that fit the Colorado lifestyle like, well, your favorite pair of shoes.
Come for a Visit
When’s the last time you included a shoe factory visit in your vacation plans? Not many of us would consider a factory to be a tourist attraction.
When the SOM Footwear factory first opened, they didn’t consider it to be an attraction either. Within a few months of opening, they had people knocking at the door out of curiosity, so they decided to officially offer factory tours! These days they welcome everyone from school groups to people passing through to give them a glimpse of how SOM Footwear is made.
If you happen to be in Montrose County in western Colorado, check out SOM Footwear’s factory store and take a free tour. It’s located at 1006 N. Cascade Ave in beautiful Montrose. The Factory Outlet Store (attached to the factory) is open to the public every Thursday from 9-5pm or by appointment. To make an appointment, please call them at (970) 765-2616.
Among SOM’s best-selling footwear are their:
- SO Me!
- Sole Mates
All of these models offer the same foot bed foundation and general design. While the Norwood and Zephyr are mass-produced models, the SO Me! and Sole Mates are not.
SO Me! is their customizable shoe where the buyer decides the fabric and overall design, resulting to a very unique pair of shoes. Sole Mates on the other hand are available in just one size, and is just waiting for its perfect match, the right foot size that is. Additionally, the company also manufactures and sells socks and snap laces.
SOM Footwear is also topnotch when it comes to improving customer experience, as they allow free exchanges and free returns, with the free returns giving a 100% refund for footwear returned in its original, unused condition. The company also offers benefits to repeat customers, such as discounts, free domestic shipping, cashback referral program and free resoling of the buyer’s previous pair of SOM shoes.
Address: 1006 N Cascade Ave, Montrose