Superfeet is making big strides in the custom shoe market, and that will result in a major new investment in Ferndale.
The Ferndale-based manufacturer announced this week at The Running Event conference in Austin, Texas that it will begin production of custom-fit recovery slides, or the sandals people put on after a run. The company also announced it is partnering with Brooks Running Company to produce a high-performance running shoe that is custom fit to the individual based on data gathered from the company’s FitStation, which is available in retail stores including Fairhaven Runners & Walkers.
To keep up with these and other new products, the company is finishing a 43,000-square-foot manufacturing facility next to its 50,000-square-foot headquarters at 1820 Scout Place, near Ferndale’s Hovander Homestead Park. That facility is expected to be completed in early 2018 and the new products are expected to start rolling out in the spring, said Eric Hayes, Superfeet’s chief marketing officer.
The new facility is operated by Flowbuilt Manufacturing, which is owned by Superfeet.
Flowbuilt is also hiring production and shipping workers – it will host a career fair on Sunday and Monday at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott at 4040 Northwest Ave. The Sunday event runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., while the Monday fair is from 2-5 p.m.
The facility will start off with seven employees; once fully staffed it should have about 20 workers, Hayes said. Registration prior to the career fair through the website is preferred.
The addition of the custom recovery sandals and the running shoes follows announcements earlier this year of Superfeet’s FitStations and its first lines of regular shoes. Before this year, the company was known for its insoles, which it continues to design and manufacture.
The move into recovery sandals is a way of offering a custom-fit solution to what had been a one-size-fits-all approach, Hayes said.
“Superfeet wants to redefine recovery. When the shape and support is created exclusively for the wearer, stress on the foot and body is reduced to the lowest possible level,” Hayes said. “This is absolutely a growing market.”
Prices for the recovery sandals and the custom Brooks shoes will be available next spring.
Superfeet currently has 12 FitStations across the U.S. with more more than 5,000 people getting the scans. The company plans on adding more FitStations in 2018.