Created using a complex mix of biomechanics and biomedicine, John Maken saw a gap in the market for durable, specifically designed insoles that support action sports athletes’ feet. In 2008, John Makens started Remind Insoles to improve comfort and reduce injury and has since accrued an impressive lineup of brand ambassadors.
Please give an overview on how and why the company began.
Remind Insoles was inspired from needing a solution for riding all day long and not feeling like you got thrown down a flight of stairs at the end of the day. I’ve been skating and snowboarding for over 30 years now and about 12 years ago I noticed a large void in the quality of insoles that come in our footwear and boots. The crappy stock 10 cent insole just didn’t ever cut it for me. I started playing around with many different concepts and products. I ended up developing a product, alongside of a bio-mechanical engineer and bio-medical engineer, specifically designed for the massive amounts of abuse that we endure while skateboarding and snowboarding. I gave the insoles out to all my shred buddies for testing like Travis Rice, Bryan Iguchi, Chico Brenes and Walker Ryan and the response was nothing but amazing feedback! So, things just kinda escalated from there. Orthotics have been around for many years, but I felt like we needed something that catered to snowboarders and skateboarders and the abuse we do to ourselves. There wasn’t any other insole company around that was doing this yet or one that sold in the skate and snow shops. It all just came together, and all the signs pointed to yes and that’s when Remind Insoles was birthed.
Who is on the management team, and what are their backgrounds?
I am still hands-on with most all aspects of the brand and logistics… I come from a multi-dimensional background of skateboarding, snowboarding, shop retail, semi-professional rider, construction worker, illustration and design major, and a visionary for progressing what I love doing. I work alongside a great crew who used to run and manage all the Black Box brands back in the day. So together we make an awesome team and keep this machine greased.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
The Remind Insoles shape and the durability of our materials is an unmatched combination. Our materials mould and hold shape to your specific foot so you get your very own customized shape. It is the perfect amount of support.
I’ve found the competition insoles are either too stiff, which locks up the foot, too soft, which isn’t enough support, too flat, which has no support, or, too thick, which adds way too much pressure in the shoe. Remind Insoles are designed and engineered to improve body alignment, improve foot and joint function, prevent injury, protect our joints and body, reduce pain, and distribute weight and shock impacts. We have the perfect amount of support and stiffness for all types of feet and arch heights.
What do you find important about the European market? How are you operating here?
Europe is one of my favourite places… All the times I’ve been to Europe I get this great sense of passion behind snowboarding and skateboarding and it’s super rad to see it thriving well! It seems that science and technology in products is a high priority and I would love to make a contribution to it all. We have an EU warehouse set up to make it easy for distributors, shops, and consumers to get Remind under their feet.
What marketing are you running?
We are involved in some of the awesome on-snow demos and trade shows around Europe as well as contributing to some other core events through our distributors and reps. Showing presence and giving back to the snowboard and skateboard community is the type of marketing we like to do most.
Why should retailers sell your brand?
75% of people have foot problems caused from bad footwear. Everyone has different feet with different needs. Remind Insoles is not only a great add on sale for retailers but will solve most people’s foot issues and make their lives much more comfortable.
Where are you currently distributed and what are the plans for future growth?
We are sprinkled across most areas in the EU already… Switzerland, UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, France, Belgium, Spain. The plan is to keep growing where we are already located and spread into the areas where we are needed. We have a lot of new products and plans for the future that we will be rolling out as well.