I wrote a guest post on MyFiveFingers.com about why I chose a black leather, round-toe, closed-lace, cap-toe Oxford as our first model. In one word, versatility. The design we carefully selected is widely acknowledged as the most classic, and can be worn in almost any occasion. While most of us know a ton about what makes a good minimalist or barefoot shoe, the dress shoe half of the product is a bit more enigmatic. Welcome to Dress Shoes 101 by Professor Primal Professional.
P.S. Did you know we're now taking pre-orders and you can save $40-60? Click "pre-order" above for more details. Valid through Friday 11/30.
This is a copy of our latest newsletter. Make sure you're on our mailing list to get the big updates, monthly (at most) http://eepurl.com/i2egb
Hi Primal People,
1. All sizes have passed with flying colors. Testing complete, preparing for production.
2. Our website is live.
3. Save $40-$60 with a pre-order & secure shoes on our limited first production run.
4. Partnership opportunities for stores, bloggers, healthcare professionals, and gyms.
5. See our first fit reviews.
1. All of our sizes have passed with flying colors. Steve & Meagan of Technically Running had this to say about the new last versus the one that wouldn't fit our shoemaker's machines: "they are much more comfortable and the style, design, and fit has increased drastically. Just by looking at them I could tell they were much less 'bulbous'...These are looking really good!" We are now building outsole molds, the most time- and money-intensive step. Soon, we will begin our 4-week materials acquisition period, next the 8-week production cycle, and then our shoes will be on their way to you.
2. Our website is live. More content on its way. Beautifully designed by Go Fish Digital, the guys behind MyFiveFingers, to showcase our shoes.
3. Save $30 off the retail price (CA residents save an additional $20 on sales tax), plus FREE shipping, with a pre-order today. Guarantee a pair for yourself from our very limited first production run, no risk. Full refunds available anytime before ship date. After ship date, every shoe is backed by 365-day free returns and exchanges plus our manufacturer's workmanship and material warranty. Promotions valid only through Friday, November 30th 2012.
4. Stores, bloggers, healthcare professionals, and gyms...we are offering 3 ways to partner with us. Traditional wholesale, dropshipping with a starter pack, or our affiliate referrals program, there is something for everyone. Reply to this e-mail to request more details.
5. Nicholas Pang wrote up a fit review, our first, on his website, Minimalist Running Shoes. Keep an eye out for another review from a fan who wore the Primal Professionals on his wedding day at Birthday Shoes
Hi Primal People,
The good news is that the Primal Professional will be lined 100% with full-grain leather, rather than the fabric you saw in the pictures. #Swag.
Now, the bad news. When we last wrote, we were grading up our last sizes and seeking testers to evaluate fit. Soon after, I received this message:
The factory had a very hard time lasting the larger sizes. The last is so wide in the forepart that it does not fit into our lasting machines. This is a big red flag. We have been lasting cement constructed shoes for over 50 years and have never had this difficult a time. I am very anxious to see how they fit. I hope we hear that they are way too wide. If not we may have a real problem. I am hoping that a mistake was made in the grading to these larger sizes of the lasts. If not I don’t think we will be able to make shoes with them.
It hit me like a baseball bat. A baseball bat made of gluten. Ironically, we were all hoping a mistake was made.
So far, we've heard back from our 12W tester, our friends at Technically Running who know minimalist shoes and proper office attire. He agreed that it was too wide. Our 14W is being worn right now, and the 10W is in transit, so we're anxiously waiting.
What does this all mean going forward? They've identified the widest last bottom they could make, and will be grading down from there. They plan on keeping the same circumference over the toes, so however much width is decreased, height will be increased. Keeping the same circumference also means that we can still use the same uppers that they've painstakingly crafted. I believe my toes (or my preferences) are pretty wide, even by barefooter standards. I had to go with custom Luna Sandals because my toes spill over the edge of the pre-cuts, and in choosing Lemings, which are quite possibly the widest, most comfortable shoes out there right now, I still chose a size 8 rather than a 7. In the end, this shoe will have to pass the strict standards of our testers. I will make sure the true spirit of these shoes is not compromised over a manufacturing issue.
Arrangements have already been made to expedite next steps, e.g. having all the uppers ready to go as soon as the lasts arrive, and making a 3rd shoe so it can be sent to outsole production as soon as testers approve. All told, this bump in the road will set us back one more month. I spent the last week tossing and turning over this issue. I know that, by making a shoe unlike any other, really the first of its kind, there will be issues. But still, it frustrates me to keep you guys waiting any longer. I thank you all for your continued patience and support.
Lastly, I will be collecting the various messages and posts on facebook from you guys (names trimmed for anonymity) to show my manufacturers the exploding interest in these shoes, despite zero marketing since year. The sooner they get things done, the sooner they can earn your business, and all of us stand to benefit. If there's something you'd like to add, just hit reply.
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