Foot health is so hugely dependent on wearing shoes that allow feet to function naturally (more on this here), yet most of us spend at least eight hours a day working in office environments where shoes that look like feet just don't fit the office culture. And really, of the minimalist shoes available even as the category has grown, there haven't been a ton of options for dress shoes that cater to bare feet.
That's changing. While you may be aware of Primal Professionals (Dressy oxfords set to be released soon, hopefully), I doubt you've heard of Tune Footwear — until now.
A few months back BirthdayShoes became aware of Tune Footwear. They are a nascent minimalist shoe manufacturer focused solely on bringing to market men's footwear that could fit in in the office environment — in the form of the age-old men's style, the loafer.
Intrigued? Want to learn more about Tune's mission? Read on for more photos and a survey that will directly impact the future of Tune Footwear!
About Tune Footwear — straight from the Founder
BirthdayShoes blogger randomly met the founder of Tune Mike Norris whilst out and about wearing his Skora Forms. Lo and behold, Mike had read Tim's review of the Skoras not a few days prior, struck up a conversation with Tim, and quickly learned that they had BirthdayShoes in common!
Tim, Mike, and I quickly got in touch over email and I started learning about Tune. The result of these conversations and Mike's appreciation for our community here are why he decided to bring a first look at one of his Tune Footwear styles straight to BirthdayShoes.com.
But before we get to those photos, I asked Mike to share a bit about the future of his company. Below is what he had to say!
Tune is coming out with four different styles, a penny loafer, tassel loafer, ornament loafer, and boat shoe. All designs are a dress/casual style and are made for young professional in the workplace that have adopted minimalist athletic footwear into their shoe collections.
I myself am a young professional in a very traditional office environment. I work in financial advising industry and the dress code is what you'd expect. After I made the transition to minimalist athletic shoes (I've owned Five Fingers, NB Minimus, Stems/Lemings, Altras, and I even golf in True Linkswear), I found it extremely uncomfortable and unhealthy to wear my classic loafers and oxfords to my 9 to 5. I also realized I was wearing my dress shoes for at least 8 Hours A Day, and that they were worse for my feet than my old traditional running sneakers. Most dress shoes have big heels over 20mms, a very narrow toe box, and extremely stiff outsoles. That's why Tune's first campaign is called 8 Hours A Day....we're encouraging men in the workplace to wear healthy footwear for the entire span of their workday.
Tune footwear is all about wellness; however, we've done our best to keep the classic looks and styles that have stood the test of time in men's dress/casual footwear.
Whether you call it minimalist, wellness, or just plain healthy, Tune Footwear has focused on three main principals:
- A shoe that's Flat. No pitch (zero drop) is crucial in order to walk with a natural stride.
- A shoe that Fits. A wide toe box is necessary for every man in order to account for the natural expansion of his foot at impact, and all the way through the stride. A wide toe box is masculine and I think lots of guys will appreciate that....especially when they realize that pointy dress shoes evolved from a feminine high heel design.
- A shoe that Flexes. All men's dress casual shoes are stiff, rigid, and hard which make it almost impossible for your foot to function the way it should. The human foot evolved to flex and feel when in motion. Ground feel is so important for balance and stride adjustment. Feeling the ground actually helps prevent injury.
Thanks so much for the help and please let me know if you have any questions. You can tell fans to visit us at www.tunefootwear.com and to like us on facebook.
Meet the Ornament Loafer from Tune Footwear (Tan Pebbled Leather Colorway)
The following photos are of Mike's present design of the ornament loafer. Mike's Tune designs have already been through a series of testing and iterations are being made (right now) to finalize the design for the first production run! Until we get a hands-on with the Tunes (which we will!), how about some photos to whet your appetite?
Personally, I am incredibly excited that Tune is bringing these loafers to market. There is a gaping hole in the minimalist dress shoe market and I think Mike's products here could be just what we need to restore comfortable feet to the (often stuffy) workplace! I think Mike has his ducks in a row in how he's approached the design of the Trues and, really, just looking at them I have to say they look incredibly comfortable.
You can shape the future of Tune!
At the bottom of this post are a handful of questions around Tune Footwear. The survey requires no email address or other input (other than a minute of your time) to complete. Basically, it will help Mike determine which colors in the dressier styles (not the Boat shoe) readers would prefer. Note that the black pebbled leather is not pictured.