Friendly Shoes: The Footwear Start-Up Company on a Mission to Improve the Lives of Those with Footwear Challenges, Announces Kid Friendly Shoes Arriving March 2020
Friendly Shoes announces expansion beyond Friendly Shoe adult collections with the addition of Kid Friendly Shoes, called Easies, available at Zappos in early 2020. Friendly Shoes is a San Diego footwear startup founded by Occupational Therapist, Joseph DiFrancisco, who was frustrated with his patient’s lack of access to accommodating quality footwear. So he spent over five years rethinking how shoes can be made easier without sacrificing style, quality, or support.
“I couldn’t sleep at night, I was discharging patients and the adaptive equipment we were recommending just wasn’t working on footwear” said DiFrancisco. “My patients would be discharged home without any quality footwear solutions, most of the time they ended up wearing slippers, which is a big no-no for individuals that have impaired balance. Through the development of our first Friendly Shoe, we had a team of patients and medical professionals working with us to create the finest adaptive shoe on the market’. Our patented zipper accommodates more adaptive challenges than any other shoe technology.”
The company launched in 2019 in a pop-up store, boutique comfort shoe retailers in San Diego and Los Angeles, and online at Friendlyshoes.com. The team consists of DiFrancisco and co-founders Edwin Lee, who left a science position at Pfizer after seeing early prototypes of Friendly Shoes help his father regain independence following a hip replacement, and Ryan Garcia, an entrepreneur and attorney moved by Friendly Shoes’ mission.
To maintain Friendly values, all Friendly Shoes are made in south Brazil with gold-level sustainability credentialed production facilities that treat employees and the environment well. Every Friendly Shoe features patented Easy Shoe Access technology: a discrete, short, and easy-to-pull zipper tab enabling users to slip-on properly fitted comfort shoes hands-free. Yet perhaps the best part is unzipping for comfort and breathability while seated or standing for prolonged periods of time. In traffic, at the desk, in a meeting, on the couch, and more. It’s a new and better shoe experience.
“The Easies, Kid Friendly Shoes, get us really excited” said DiFrancisco. “We’ve had a huge amount of parents in the adaptive community ask for Friendly Shoes for their children, especially to accommodate AFOs/braces and delays in fine motor skill development. To create a quality product that changing people’s lives is a dream come true. Great looking shoes any kid would want that adaptive kids can independently put on and off helps foster independence and reduce stigma and bullying. We think it can help bring people, adaptive-needs or not, together through footwear because easier and better shoes are great everyone.”
Friendly Shoes will be doing a Kickstarter in January 2020. Go to Friendlyshoes.com and give Joseph, Ryan, or Edwin a call at 619 488 0066. Join Friendly Shoes newsletter for info on upcoming styles or info regarding the upcoming Kickstarter.