Obviously, we need to take pictures of our sandals. If you look closely, you might notice that the feet featured (Ok, I can’t help myself, I need to get my dumb humor out and just write “feetured”. Sorry!) in our pictures are “regular” feet.
At one point, we got a comment on Facebook regarding our photos. It read, “Cool shoes but you guys really need to get some better foot models. Yikes!” My first reaction was to get defensive. Especially since my wife and I are in many of the photos. I have hobbit feet and am comfortable with that but don’t insult my wife! However, I realize that we have all been conditioned by mass advertisement to maintain unrealistic expectations (especially for women). My response was to invite the individual who commented to come in and we would take pictures of his feet. Suddenly his tune changed! I was able to laugh it off but it made me think of all the reasons we don’t hire professional foot models.
The first, and probably most obvious, is that we simply can’t afford it. Large corporations with huge advertisement budgets set unattainable standards for body image but they also set unattainable standards for small businesses. People just assume that because we are a “shoe company” it means we’re doing very well financially. They forget that we’re making these sandals locally and not outsourcing it to China. This means that our costs are something like 85% higher than others. We don’t spend money on something that is not absolutely necessary! Sorry dude on Facebook, but professional foot models are not absolutely necessary.
The next reason is probably the most important to us. Even if we had the money to spend on models, we wouldn’t do it. Why? Because our main goal isn’t to push inventory out the door and make fortune. We are all real people. I may not know all of you but everyone that reads this is an individual human being. So am I. I’m not perfect, neither are the rest of the Unshoes team. We’re not out to convince you that we are perfect. There has been some media attention lately about all the fake photos on social media after Australian model decided to quit. In a world where so much is fake, we just want to keep it real folks. Sure, some of our pictures are posed but we only take pictures of people that actually wear our sandals and use them in real life.
Few people know feet like we do. Seriously, for several years I received tracings from people, many of which sent photos as well, and turned those into custom sized sandals for their feet. Iv’e seen all kinds of shapes and sizes! There are as many kinds of feet as there are people. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Yes, some feet are more attractive than others but who are we to say what the most attractive foot shape is? Again, we’ve all been conditioned
Lastly, what are the chances of getting a professional foot model that has been wearing healthy footwear? We’re not selling sandals to everyone (although we think everyone could benefit from them). We’re mostly trying to reach people that want to improve their health and understand how detrimental common footwear can be. Things like bunions are now considered normal because so many people have deformed feet from cramming them into tight shoes. The feet in our pictures may not all be perfectly healthy. We’ve all been wearing restrictive shoes at some point or another, but the people in our pictures are actually trying to improve their foot mobility. I just don’t think a professional foot model would understand.