Thursday, February 17, 2011

“It’s great to work with pros!” is one of my favorite sayings these days. Normally when I use it, I’m referring to a solid idea or insight from one of our experts at Allen Edmonds. We’ve assembled quite a team of key people across our company – insiders with career-long experience in shoe design, shoemaking, leathers, Recrafting®, sizing and fitting, shoe sales, finance and systems. And to these we’ve added some relative newcomers with career-long outside experience in marketing, retail management, wholesale management, international markets, quality assurance, recruiting and smart men’s business and casual fashions from head-to-foot. They’re an outstanding group of first class people in every sense of the term.

Lately, though, the saying applies more literally – It’s great to work with golf pros! We just introduced our new line of golf shoes -- called the “Honors Collection” -- at the annual PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando. Ben Crenshaw is our spokesman for our line. Not only is Ben a Hall of Fame golfer, victorious Ryder Cup Captain and two-time Masters Champion, he’s also a first class guy who is generally regarded as one of the foremost experts on golf history and tradition. He also has designed some highly-ranked, classic-inspired golf course around the country. We’re truly honored to have Ben represent our Honors Collection.

At the PGA Show the “buzz” around our booth was palpable. We were asked to do live interviews on ESPN radio, we talked to golf magazine editors and, at their request, we supplied samples to a TV crew doing a feature on golf fashion. Our booth was full for three days straight. We met pros from many of the best courses from coast-to-coast. Many told us of the gap they see in the market for the classic, 360 degree welted golf shoe – the kind of shoe serious golfers have worn for years and years. The whole line was given thumbs up reviews with the shark-skin REDAN and the DOUBLE EAGLE being the most jaw dropping. The innovative DOUBLE EAGLE shoe offers the feel, stability and support of a classic golf shoe when you swing and the comfort of a breathable running shoe mesh when you walk 4+ miles on a hot day. By the way, the whole line is available for Recrafting® which, for golf, we’re calling our “Mulligan Service.”

I was especially impressed by how many of these pros knew our Allen Edmonds history in the golfing business. In the days before surlyn-covered balls, we made the shoes that one of the greatest legends of all time wore exclusively, on and off the course. Now we’re back in the business and some touring pros have already called to ask us to fit them.

Several of us at the company are life-long golfers ourselves, so this is more and more fun all the time. Check out our video at and see what I mean. It really is good to work with pros.

Hit ‘em straight!

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO
Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation