Suppliers take steps to address women’s needs

Michael Johnsen

The opportunity within foot care may be even more skewed toward the female shopper than in years past when insoles and devices designed with the woman in mind were first introduced.

The fact is, men and women are in search of satisfying different needs when considering a foot care product purchase. Men are more utilitarian, preferring high-function products that offer extra-cushioning, support and comfort. Women, meanwhile, shop for products that complement not only their feet and their shoes, but also their busy lifestyles, according to Implus Footcare research.

Top 10 foot care product manufacturers

Merck Consumer Care (Dr. Scholl’s) $193.5 3.8%
Private label 66.2 6.3
Profoot (Profoot) 17.5 -14.1
Telebrands (Ped egg) 17.4 -70.0
Implus (Airplus) 6.4 -16.7
W.E. Bassett (Trim) 5.0 8.1
Combe (odor-eaters) 4.8 -1.9
Spenco (Spenco) 4.3 -15.0
Sara Lee (kiwi) 3.9 -10.3
Tweezerman (Tweezerman) 3.7 2.5
TOTAL $353.2 -11.5%
*In millionsSource: SymphonyIRI Group for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 8 across food, drug and mass (minus Walmart)


Indeed, the women’s business has been healthier than the men’s. It’s a factor driven by the economy as women gravitate toward spa treatments at home.

In an effort to address women’s needs, Implus recently featured its Airplus for Her Shoe Comfort Kit. The company has had success in shoe stores with kits—coupling more than one foot care item together in one SKU. According to executives, it takes the average price point up and gives the consumer an all-in-one shopping opportunity.

Merck Consumer Care recently launched Dr. Scholl’s For Her Fast Flats, a practical solution for women who need a break from uncomfortable footwear. Fast Flats are compact and foldable shoes that fit discreetly in a purse and come with a wristlet for easy storage and portability.

A recent survey conducted by Dr. Scholl’s For Her found that 70% of women admitted to taking their shoes off after a night out because they were so uncomfortable. And 80% of women surveyed said that when their feet hurt, it affected their mood. “Fast Flats are fashionable and affordable, enabling women to be prepared for the many scenarios they face throughout the day without having to worry about shoe discomfort,” stated Jay Morgan, VP research and development for Dr. Scholl’s.

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