Hockey Headlines

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

SummerSkates For Summer!

It's been a while since HBIC had something to promote that I've found to be a great buy, but I'm happy to report that trend will end today as I've found something worth considering when outfitting yourself or a team! SummerSkates are a fantastic, inexpensive addition to your summer wardrobe and/or hockey bag, and you'll find that the flip-flops not only wear well, but leave your feet feeling pretty happy after wearing them.

I've been wearing my pair of SummerSkates for about a week now, and I have to say that they get better as you wear them in just like any shoe. Being that they are flip-flops, I certainly noticed the lack of arch support on my feet early on, but they feel much better now that they have been worn in for a week.

Now you might be saying something along the lines of "Teebz, they're just flip-flops". Flip-flops haven't really changed the world over the course of history, but the SummerSkates have the potential to catch on quickly thanks to the ability to customize the SummerSkates with team logos! I'm not aware of any other manufacturer who offers something like this where teams can now outfit themselves in SummerSkates with their own team logo on the flip-flops!

So how did the SummerSkates become a real thing? From the SummerSkates website,
SummerSkates came to life in the basement of my house in the summer of 2012 like many other successful product stories. I (Myles) began to start sewing hockey laces together to create a band and ripping apart any old flip flops I could find. From there, I attached the iconic hockey lace band to the old flip flop soles to create the first SummerSkates sandals.

After many handmade prototypes and gathering feedback from others, I realized I was on to something cool. My next challenge was to turn my concept into a marketable reality. I went searching online to find manufacturers who could turn my drawings, pictures, and prototypes into a consumer product. I spent countless late night hours talking with different suppliers in China until I found a manufacturer who could produce my initial vision. In late 2012, I met with Luke who had some experience with suppliers and bringing product into Canada. We decided to partner up on this exciting venture.

After a couple months of going back and forth with the supplier we locked down a sample and it was time to produce the first official SummerSkates order. Luke and I put in an order for a few thousand pairs which arrived for distribution to test the concept with local retailers beginning in May 2013. The two of us spent the summer working with local stores and selling some online with our simple website. The positive consumer reaction was significant, and in many locations we were outselling leading brands! Prior to summer's end we essentially sold out in our small test market so we knew we had a hit.
From the ground up, this has been a labor of love for Myles in getting SummerSkates into stores, and he and Luke have done an incredible job in marketing the SummerSkates thus far. They have a number of NHL players who are wearing them, and they are expanding their outreach through social media and word-of-mouth!

I will say that the lace band that the SummerSkates is far softer than what you think. There is some padding under the laces to help cushion the top of the foot, and the overall affect is that they feel good to wear. The soles, as stated above, need a little break-in time, but they also are comfortable now that they have found the form of my feet. While flip-flops shouldn't cause any, I have yet to experience any blisters or rubbing from the lace band, and that's a good thing.

The one thing I haven't discussed in this article? Price. There are different types of flip-flops that range in prices from a few dollars to the $50-60 range. These comfortable flip-flops aren't going to break the bank by any means, and I feel they are worth the price. At $29.99, you probably won't find any flip-flops as unique as these, but I also contend that you may not find any as comfortable as these either. The price point is very affordable, and I think you'll like the feeling of the SummerSkates on your feet! For those worried about sizing, they range from extra-small (3-4 shoe size for males; 5-6 for females) all the way up to XXL (13+ for males; 15+ for females). They definitely have your size in stock!

There will be a couple of follow-ups to this article in the coming weeks. Myles and I are working out a time where we can speak about his product, and I'm still trying to convince him to appear on The Hockey Show so we can chat in-person about SummerSkates. I also have a second person wearing and testing out the SummerSkates, and she'll provide a female perspective on these flip-flops shortly.

If you want a quality pair of flip-flops for the beach, the backyard, or at the rink, look no further than SummerSkates. Your feet and pocketbook will thank you for these great summer sandals!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

1 comment:

flip flop said...

I have to say that they get better as you wear them in just like any shoe. Being that they are flip flops