While the global sneaker market is expected to reach $120 billion by 2026, many of the top-selling brands will continue to use the same thin insoles that provide little to no cushioning. This isn’t much of a problem if you wear the shoes for casual use, but if you use them for sports, they offer little support and comfort.
Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard knows firsthand the importance of foot health, having sustained foot injuries dating back to his college days when he played at Weber State University. So when he received a business proposal from his marketing agent at Goodwin Sports, Nate Jones, for a high-quality athlete’s shoe insole, it quickly became a good idea. Just over two years after that initial conversation in 2019, the Move company was officially launched last December with Lillard and Jones as co-founders.
“I immediately started thinking about how useful it would have been for me and how useful it could still be, simply because I hadn’t been able to find any orthotics or insoles to put in my shoe that I felt comfortable in. playing,” Lillard tells Fast Company. “Then we started talking about how things have changed in amateur sports where kids now play all year round, [and] we saw that there was definitely a need for this.”
Many NBA players use insoles and arch supports while playing for added stability and comfort and to reduce foot stress. Lillard recalls the occasional sore foot he experienced during certain parts of the grueling NBA season, and the plantar fasciitis injury that plagued him during his fourth season after playing with just the typical sockliner that comes standard in sneakers.
After not being able to find an insole he felt comfortable with, Jones also suffered his own foot injuries from playing recreational hoops. dr. Scholl’s currently dominates the insoles market, expected to reach $4 billion this year and $6.9 billion by 2032, according to Future Market Insights. But Jones and his partners noticed a void: None of the well-known insole companies really catered to young athletes or elite athletes.
Move has since partnered with Footcare Express, along with a Nike footwear designer with 25 years of experience and one of the leading footwear research and testing labs. Move has secured additional investment from the likes of Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul and former NBA guard Jamal Crawford. Through marketing, primarily on social media, Move generated more than $100,000 in revenue in its first month and is on track to reach $1 million in sales by 2022, according to its founders. The company currently offers two products on its website: the Game Day and Game Day Pro model, with retail prices of $39.99 and $59.99.
Lillard first tested his Move insoles while helping Team USA win gold at the London Olympics last summer. During his previous years in the NBA he hadn’t been able to find a consistent insole to use and now he finally had a product that was comfortable, responsive and allowed him to play more freely without thinking about what happened in his shoes. shoe.
With a successful launch in the basketball world, Move also focuses on youth basketball and youth volleyball. From there, the founders want to continue to branch out into other sports with the central focus of providing youth athletes with a product to support them while their bodies are still growing and developing.
“I think you’ll see more kids using them in the future,” Lillard said. “You’ll see more professional athletes using them too, because there’s nothing that specifically targets athletes. I think Move is something you’re going to see everywhere.”
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