As studio classes like pilates, yoga and barre increase in popularity, brands are following suit by developing options based on consumer need. The best footwear should have a close sock feel while providing grip, slip-resistance and slide. Shoes also need to be cross-functional, taking consumers from studio-specific work to time on the treadmill after class. More than ever before fitness students are looking to their fitness instructors for what to wear on their feet. Based on these insights brands like ToeSox and Ahnu are creating a blend of function and fashion that bring a more premium product to the marketplace.
Hygiene in the studio is something to always be mindful of, especially for students in group reformer, hot yoga and crowded barre classes, where the area is only as clean as the person before you left it. ToeSox's organic cotton blend works as a barrier against errant germs and infections. ToeSox also provides slip-resistance and a five-toe design that allows the foot a broader foundation for increased balance. "Consumers are looking for high-quality footwear products to improve performance during their workout, whether that means holding a plank a little longer, being more grounded in releve or settling deeper into warrior II, stated Joe Patterson, founder of ToeSox, as reported by Footwear Insight, May/June 2015. Click here to shop Toesox.
Ahnu has partnered with Blake Brody to create YogaSport, a on-the-mat footwear line. "We spent the last two years really dicing into the yoga space and connecting with consumers to really understand what is important to them, stated Jacqueline Van Dine, co-founder of Ahnu. Ahnu's contribution to the market is a line of footwear that is supportive, stable, flexible and lightweight. YogaSport was designed for consumers looking for a hybrid workout, allowing a transitional ease from mat, to gym to trail. Click here to shop Ahnu.