Bucketfeet: Better shoes, better future
Words & photos: Josh Ruggles
Everyone these days is seeming increasingly concerned with being original—making it all the more important for companies to stand out and offer something unique.
That challenge is becoming more difficult with companies latching onto each other’s ideas and saturating the market with homogenized versions of the original. When companies do manage to poke their heads out of the crowd, they should be recognized. Bucketfeet is one of those companies.
The Chicago based company is the epitome of canvas to—well, shoe canvas. Artists from around the world are welcomed to submit their artwork to Bucketfeet, who is always looking for the next piece to turn into mobile art. Even better, for every pair of shoes sold, they donate a dollar to the artist and another dollar to the charity of the buyer’s choice.
Co-founder and creative director Aaron Firestein essentially started the company by customizing his own shoes. After selling a pair to his now partner Raaja Nemani, the two realized the potential of what he had unknowingly begun—an artist-designed footwear company.
“We are a platform by which artists, no matter the medium, can have a shot at having their own official, original shoes,” Firestein said. “We really want to be known as THE artist-designed footwear company and keep adding to the roster of talented artists from all over the world.”
Opening the box to a pair of Bucketfeet lets you know this pair of shoes is different. It’s just as much an experience to unwrap the shoes, as it is to put them on. Inside, it contains a drawstring bag and a card with the name of the artist, their inspiration for the design and how the donation helps them to continue in their art. Open the bag and a pair of art inspired shoes await.
With such a preamble it would be expected these shoes are going to require a months pay, but at a price range of $55-$65 they are easy on the wallet and are good for any occasion—except maybe swimming. One especially unique concept is each model comes in men or women models. No more quibbles about the girls or guys’ stuff being superior. It’s all the same.
For a startup company focused on art, these shoes are quality built. Deluxe insoles give extra padding on the heel and ball of your foot, while the outsole flexes without a fight. It’s good to see a company that is focused on all-around quality, not just aesthetics. The biggest issue with Bucketfeet is putting them on knowing they will someday be ruined.
Go check the complete line-up at bucketfeet.com.