On Good Footing for Growth, Expansion

DEL MAR – The Good Feet Store, with more than 30 years of experience in helping alleviate foot pain and associated body aches, continues to gain a foothold in the industry. Based in Del Mar, with a manufacturing plant in Carlsbad, The Good Feet Store’s personalized, interactive customer service has helped the company achieve strong year-over-year growth over the past six years in both market size and sales.

The company grew from 117 brick-and-mortar locations nationwide in 2018 to 260 stores in 2023. The Good Feet Store’s headquarters recently expanded to a 16,000-square foot location in Del Mar, a site four times larger than its previous HQ. Richard Moore, The Good Feet Store CEO, said the plan is for the business to be open in 300 locations by the end of this year, both corporate and franchise locations, with more than 30 owners currently in the franchise system. While nearly all of the stores are in the United States, there are also several locations in Australia and one in South Korea.

Correcting Foot Biomechanics
The Good Feet Store has grown in the health and wellness business since its 1992 founding in Solana Beach by Joe Paul, selling premium, personalized arch support inserts for shoes that help mitigate foot discomfort and also enhance walking posture, lessen knee pain caused by foot misalignment and contribute to the relief of hip and back pain.

While The Good Feet Store has a medical advisor in Dr. Pamela Mehta, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in joint arthritis and sports injuries, the company is not considered a medical provider and its representatives aren’t authorized to diagnose or give medical advice with respect to any physical condition. Its products are, however, designed to help correct poor foot biomechanics, which can provide long-term relief solutions to pain, something Americans are well versed with.

According to HealthInAging.org, a website managed by the American Geriatrics Society, an organization focused on the health and well-being of older adults, up to 87% of people have painful feet at some time in their lives and one-third of older adults complain of foot pain, stiffness or aching feet.

Customer Turned Owner
Working in private equity as an attorney, and formerly CAO and general counsel at Planet Fitness, Moore was initially a customer who was so impressed with the concept that he helped advise a York Capital Management team that sought to invest in The Good Feet Store. York Capital closed its investment in April of 2020 and Moore took the reins with the goal of taking what had been done previously at the company and scale and grow it. “It’s an amazing product with an amazing component of service and customer interaction that I’ve always felt was unique in this day and age of everybody buying things on the internet,” Moore said. “What’s beautiful about The Good Feet Store is we want you to come in and we want to spend time with you to ensure that we’re getting it right.”

Even during the ups and downs of COVID-19, the company grew, which may be surprising because of social distancing regulations and requirements. The Good Feet Store “experience” needs to be done in person – taking anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes, customers work one-on-one with an in-store “Arch Support Specialist” during their visit. “What we knew was that people needed our product,” Moore said. “Most of our stores were able to reopen safely within a few months of the pandemic because of the need for the product.” Nurses, doctors, EMTs and other health professionals as well as those working multiple shifts in manufacturing jobs rely on good foot support, and Moore said The Good Feet Store was deemed an essential business because of the success of its products to help people on the job.

Chief Brand Officer Doug Zarkin, formerly of Pearle Vision, came on board at the end of last year to work alongside Moore. Zarkin said the company caters to a broad range of people young and old, all of whom share a commonality of pain and discomfort. “At the low end, we have something that can make your shoes more comfortable to wear and on the high end can help you whether it’s chase your grandkids around, walk 18 holes of golf or just go for a walk with your friend,” Zarkin said. “It just helps you to kind of regain your life. We provide an opportunity to help relieve (discomfort) by bringing the body into kinetic alignment.”

Gimme Three Steps
The Good Feet Store’s arch supports, typically ranging from $200 to $500 apiece and part of a three-step system that has a lifetime warranty, are locally and supplied exclusively to its retail locations. The company’s proprietary arch supports come in a wide range of over 400 styles, flexibilities and sizes and are personally fit to customers. Ro Blackwood is operations and supply chain leader for The Good Feet Store, overseeing the Carlsbad factory where the arch supports are made, seamlessly handling the full scope of raw materials through the finished goods.

“We have a mission here to improve people’s lives two feet at a time and meld that into our daily life on the manufacturing side,” Blackwood said. “We’ve created a unique team environment to fulfill that purpose. We have about 20 folks in this facility manufacturing across two shifts and we’re adding people as we speak.” Stores also offer a selection of complementary products, including shoes and shoe accessories, compression and performance socks, cushions and arch activators.

Good Feet Holdings, LLC, the global holdings group of premium wellness brands, including The Good Feet Store, in 2021 acquired OS1st, a performance sock and compressing bracing products company. Last November, Good Feet Holdings also acquired Stretch*d, a health and wellness brand that offers assisted stretching, massages and other recovery services.