SoulCycle is one of the most popular indoor cycling classes in the fitness community — attracting riders ranging from A-list celebrities to first-timers. But what is it about this company that makes customers keep coming back? According to SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan, it’s about the experience.
“It’s not one thing; it’s a thousand little things,” Whelan told Footwear News. “It’s the smell of the candle that we burn at the front desk or the lighting in the lobbies.” She said the company is bringing that same level of attention to its evolution. “It’s about micro-innovations and introducing new features across all those little details.”
These advances include debuting a pop-up studio, rolling out a new bike and even launching its own footwear.
On Oct. 18, SoulCycle will unveil the Soul Legend cycling shoe, which will be available in studios and online for $200.
Developed in collaboration with sports apparel and cycling company Pearl Izumi, it focuses on comfort, breathability and support, with features including antimicrobial upper mesh, EVA foam cushioning and rubber heel bumpers.
“The launch aims to further enhance the on-the-bike experience,” said Gabby Cohen, SVP of PR and brand strategy at SoulCycle. “We spent a year and a half working with Pearl Izumi to create this shoe, [and] we wanted to offer a new option for anyone looking to purchase their own pair.”
Whelan noted that SoulCycle’s success also comes from connecting with consumers and creating a welcoming community feel. For example, classes aren’t targeted to the quintessential athlete.
“We are a hospitality company before anything else,” Whelan said. “Part of our mantra is that we call our riders ‘legends,’ ‘warriors’ and ‘rock stars.’ Some come for the physical experience, while others come for the disconnection and just to have a good time. [To me], anyone who is moving their bodies physically and pushing themselves to the next level, whatever that level may be, is an athlete.”
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