I’m always looking for new footwear because I seem to put my boots to work more than any other piece of clothing. Sure, my worn-out kicks that I’ve been wearing for about seven years still get the job done, but they’re torn up, no longer 100-percent waterproof and there’s a perpetual mud stain that I can’t seem to get out, no matter how hard I scrub. When I walk into a dealership as a customer, I want to set my eyes on a pair and visualize myself wearing them until the soles give out. That’s when I know I’ve hit the jackpot.
When it comes to footwear, your customers probably make a “must have” list that needs to be checked off before they make a purchase and that list should probably cover looks, comfort and protection.
Like any piece of clothing, there is something about new footwear that is always eye catching. Whether it’s high quality leather, a shiny new buckle or perfectly tied laces; if someone is going to spend money on boots, they need to look the part.
With riding jeans and pants coming in different shapes and sizes to fit everyone’s preference, stock your shelves with boots that both look good dressed up with the trendy “skinny” jeans, but also with boot cuts as well. Note: If it looks strange on a mannequin, it will most likely look the same on a person.
If you’re like me, you probably sleep in a bed with a 4 in. memory foam mattress topper. If your customers are looking for that same comfort, boot manufacturers are integrating memory foam into the insole for all-day comfort.
It is becoming more frequent to see lightweight boots, but there is no lack in features just because the boot weighs less. Lightweight boots are designed to keep air moving to avoid sweaty feet. A common fabric that creates this air movement is Gore-Tex, which is a specially designed fabric membrane that repels liquid while allowing water vapor to pass through the material to keep the wearer’s feet dry.
Water protection is probably the most desired aspect of boots that buyers are looking for. Next to waterproofing is armor. Reinforced toes and heels paired with calf and ankle protection have advanced technology to conform to the shape of the wearer’s body to meld with the boot and allow for increased movement and optimum protection.
Specialized foam and gel inside of the boots can reduce vibrations, which otherwise would lead to rider discomfort.
Once the rider is off of their motorcycle, manufacturers made sure that wearers are able to safely stand and be seen with anti-slip soles and reflective material on the heel of boots for added protection.
Now that your list is checked off, it’s time to stock up on the latest trends in boots to meet your customer’s needs and get them to say “out with the old and in with the new.”