Please give us the “elevator pitch” on what PowerStep is all about in 2022?
2022 is an exciting time for PowerStep. We are coming off our strongest sales year ever and we have prioritized independent running stores this year with additional support and investment, product training via the Myagi platform and new, innovative products.
What makes PowerStep unique in your space in run specialty?
Support, Alignment and Impact. Pulse, our running line, has a supportive arch, a deep heel cup that properly aligns the body and patented cushioning that absorbs impact and retains 95 percent of its cushioning for months — all of which can help prevent pain, fatigue and future injury.
What else about Pulse?
Pulse also comes in standard shoe sizes to ensure proper arch placement, which also eliminates the need for in-store trimming or demo products. Also, our products are not available in mass brick-and-mortar stores. We want to provide a unique, specially designed product for our independent running partners. Finally, PowerStep was designed by a podiatrist, who was an avid runner, and to this day we are the Number One Recommended brand by podiatrists for runners.
What is your product focus in 2022 for run specialty?
We relaunched our PowerStep Pulse running line. While Pinnacle is our best seller today, and a fantastic product, I would encourage running store owners to look at the Pulse line – it is designed for their customers with superior impact absorption, whether running or walking. We have five products in the lineup — Pulse Performance, our hero, Pulse Thin for narrower fitting shoes, Pulse Maxx for people who overpronate, Pulse Plus with a Met pad, and Pulse ¾ length. Pulse Thin is an exciting new product that has the same support, alignment and impact benefits as the entire line, but its thinner and narrower profile is ideal for cleats, narrow fitting and casual shoes.
Why should run retailers carry more product in your category?
Category sales are growing. More customers are becoming aware of the benefits of insoles, especially orthotic insoles, which are currently underrepresented in specialty run. There is a great benefit for the customer – whether your running, walking or working on your feet all day. Providing customers a range of options, especially a more supportive option like PowerStep Pulse, will ultimately help the consumer get out and stay active for longer periods of time.
How can these retailers sell more PowerStep products?
First, ensure that you are carrying the PowerStep Pulse line – which is designed for runners and active people. Second, expand the consumer base that are using PowerStep products. While we do very well with Podiatry and doctor referrals, many associates only think of PowerStep when runners have a foot issue or are in a lot of pain. While PowerStep does have a supportive arch, once the runner or walker adapts to PowerStep we know they will have better support and alignment – helping prevent future injuries or potential foot issues.
What are you looking for in your involvement with Runchella?
To better understand the needs of the running community, what challenges owners face and how we can help. I would also like to network, as I am still relatively new to this channel, and we might try to sell some PowerStep Pulse products while we are there.
Finally, what does the rest of 2022 have in store for PowerStep and how are you going to achieve that?
Significant growth. We will achieve that by listening to runners, consumers and the owners. We are committed to this channel and will invest significant resources to help the community and stores meet their goals with strong training and support for the associates and great products for the consumers.