The Health Care Industry Is Fueling Big Business for This Shoe Brand

Comfort shoe brand Klogs has found itself sitting pretty in today’s health care space. Known for its slip-resistant clogs, the label has been catering to this niche market since its launch in 1999.

“We focus on people whose lives are tough on their feet,” said Matt Dieckhaus, VP of sales and marketing for the Sullivan, Mo.-based company. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 2.4 million jobs could be added to the sector between 2016 and 2026.

Although Dieckhaus declined to reveal numbers, he said health care has remained the lions’ share of the family-owned business, rounded out by hospitality workers. While he noted the company has considered broadening its reach into the lifestyle category over the years, “we realized there wasn’t any one brand dominating [health care]. Our objective was to be the most trusted brand in that [space].”

Klogs offers molded styles made in its U.S. factory in addition to leather clogs produced overseas. “We believe in supporting the American worker,” said Dieckhaus. “It’s an important piece of our business and makes up a substantial niche.”

Molded clogs appeal to restaurant workers, who have made the men’s Bistro and women’s Boca (both at $55) top sellers. “[These workers] are more transient and are not looking to spend too much,” said Dieckhaus.

Leather Klogs styles retail from $110 to $130. “[Health care workers] have been educated on the importance of wearing good footwear and look at it as an investment and tool,” he said.

All footwear meets ASTM International guidelines for slip resistance and feature a removable TruComfort cushioned footbed with arch support. For spring ’19, Klogs is moving into the athleisure category with the sporty Leena style for women.

The brand’s distribution focuses on uniform chains including Scrubs & Beyond and All Uniform Wear, in addition to independent shoe stores and e-tailers such as Zappos and Shoes.com.

To continue to market the business, Dieckhaus said Klogs is exploring multiple avenues, including social media and digital advertising. “Grassroots is how we got the brand started, [but] we realize there are many channels where our consumers make purchases, and we’re focused on all of them.”

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