Their Story: Feelgrounds

Updated: Jan 16

I got the chance to do an interview with the amazing barefoot shoebrand Feelgrounds. With their start in 2019 they are are quite a young brand. With their motto "Let's make barefoot shoes cool!" they gave theirselves the great goal of designing a barefoot shoe that doesn't just fel great to wear and gives back the freedom to your feet but also a shoe that looks more attractive and speaks to a wider audience. If you don't know about barefoot shoes yet, you might like to read this blogpost first. And now let's get into the interview!

How did the concept of Feelgrounds come to life?

"Feelgrounds’s founder Johannes is a true believer in barefoot shoes. It all started when his knee pain that he had carried around for quite some time disappeared after switching from ordinary footwear to barefoot shoes. When friends and family with similar health issues started asking about how he got rid of his knee pain he told them excitedly about barefoot shoes and they would agree with the concept making sense. However, when he met them again after some time they were still complaining about their pains and aches, but none of them had started wearing barefoot shoes. When Johannes asked for the reason the answer he got was always the same „I get that barefoot shoes could be good for me, but they just look so odd“. And that’s how the idea for Feelgrounds was born. Not just to produce footwear that is actually healthy for your body, but also looks stylish, cool and simply more like regular footwear. Footwear that doesn’t compromise between functionality and style. Johannes then went on the hunt for skilled people to bring the plan to life. And that’s how we launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in April 2019 and raised over $250,000 due to the massive support of our amazing backers. Feelgrounds was funded within 48 hours. We were overwhelmed by the positive feedback we got when we delivered the first shoes to our customers in August 2019 and worked hard on our online shop and new models since."

Did you wear barefoot shoes before Feelgrounds?

"You now know the story of Johannes already. I, Leonie, only wore barefoot shoes for sports, but never found a good looking enough pair that I wanted to wear outside of the gym. Most of our other team members had some experiences with barefoot shoes before joining the team as well, but all agreed that the barefoot shoe market was kind of lacking in the looks department."

What makes Feelgrounds special compared to other barefoot shoe companies?

"Our mission is to make barefoot shoes available and appealing to more people. We care about our customers, about our team members, about our production team and our environment - simply everybody involved in Feelgrounds. That’s why we, for example, use only 100% animal-free materials and try to use as many recycled and recyclable materials as possible. We think Feelgrounds is special because we include our customers and community in the decision-making process. After all, we want to make shoes that you guys love. That’s why our community regularly gets involved with the decisions for new shoe models etc. on our Instagram account @feelgrounds. Let’s make barefoot shoes cool. Together!"

Is there already a new style you are working on? And if so, when do you plan on releasing it?

"Up to now, we have two different styles available in our store. The Feelgrounds Original, a low cut sneaker, that comes in 7 different colors (All White, All Black, Black & White, Navy, Light Blue and Dusty Pink) and our brand new Feelgrounds Highrise, a hightop sneaker in the colors Off White, All Black, Black & White, Gum Graphite, Olive and Cloud Grey. Our next model - release planned in spring 2020 - will be a minimalist slip-on style in the same colors as the Feelgrounds Original."

What is every team member’s favorite thing about Feelgrounds?

Johannes: "Being able to change the footwear industry."

Raphael: "Working with motivated people to build cool and healthy shoes."

Thomas: "Working with open-minded people."

Caspar: "Creating something big with motivated people."

Leonie: "Being able to see and make things grow from the idea to the finished end result."

What is every team member’s favorite style of Feelgrounds?

Johannes: "Original All White & Highrise Gum Graphite."

Raphael: "Highrise Cloud Grey & Original Navy Blue."

Thomas: "Highrise Cloud Grey."

Caspar: "Original Navy Blue."

Leonie: "Highrise Off White & Original Dusty Pink."

What are your goals for Feelgrounds in the upcoming year?

"New models, new models, new models. We want to broaden our range of styles so that you have a choice of Feelgrounds for every occasion. We also want to improve our online store and processes to make shopping on even more smooth for the community."

Where do you see Feelgrounds in 5 years?

"5 years from now? We hope to then see Feelgrounds as a well-known brand in the barefoot shoe space. We see a great team behind Feelgrounds and a great community around Feelgrounds, working hand in hand. But we also see it as one of our goals to change the footwear industry and make the barefoot shoe concept more “mainstream”."

Is there anything else you would like to share?

"Thank you for having us! It was a pleasure for us to be interviewed by you :)"

That was is it for today. Again, a big big thank you to Feelgrounds for doing this interview. I really loved working on this. And to all of you, I wish you all the love and a beautiful day.

❤ Eva

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