There’s a new player in the children’s footwear market, straight from Japan. For spring ’16, IFME will launch in the U.S., distributed by North American Shoe Co., based in Providence, R.I.
Launched in Japan in 1999 under parent company Marubeni, the brand emphasizes healthy foot development and is based on research and development with Japanese medical professionals specializing in pediatric podiatry.
IFME is an acronym for “If It Was Me,” reflecting the brand’s commitment to customer satisfaction. The company works directly with Dr. Torii, a professor at Japan’s Wasseda University, division of sports sciences, as part of an academic-industrial alliance. The shoes offer features that support a child’s foot movements while helping muscles exert their full potential.
To promote correct foot position and posture, IFME has developed a functional insole that allows the toes to splay to allow healthy arch development. The footwear also utilizes a proprietary technology called MOFF, for Marvelous Odor Free Fiber. This cotton-based deodorizing fiber is mechanically treated by nanotechnology, allowing it to absorb 150 times as much ammonia odor as activated charcoal and at 20 times the speed, keeping kids’ feet odor-free.
The collection is available in infant sizes 4 1/2 to 7 and children’s sizes 8 to 1. The shoes will be available in mid-February through retailers that include Little Feet in Denver; Chicken Little in Santa Barbara, Calif.; Carrara Children’s Shoes, Chicago and Shoe Train in Potomac, Md., and Brooks Shoes For Kids, San Francisco and Sherman Oaks, Calif. Retail prices range from $40 to $45.