A young man serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spends two years preaching the gospel. That’s 730 days or proselytizing and a lot of pressure on a missionary’s feet. MissionShoe is trying to solve the sore feet woes of young elders.
MissionShoe has a mission of its own — to provide footwear for missionaries that will endure two years of service and help missionaries fulfill their call.
Founder Thomas Scott came up with the idea for MissionShoe while serving an LDS mission in the Brazil Ribeirão Preto Mission. During his time as a missionary, he worked through three pairs of shoes in just the first 10 months of his service. Then he found a shoe company that created shoes for security guards and postal workers, a job that requires walking/biking up to 30 miles a day, in Brazil. He purchased a pair and spent the remainder of his mission in these shoes.
Following his mission, Scott returned home and decided to modify these professional shoes for LDS missionaries, maintaining the durability and lightweight make of the footwear. In fact, the company motto is, “Half the weight. Half the price. Double the durability.”
[pullquote]“MissionShoe is about producing a shoe at a lower cost than the name brand stuff that is out there while still matching or outperforming our competition.”
— Thomas Scott, founder of MissionShoe[/pullquote]
“We’ve always wanted to take care of the boys who can’t afford to go out and pay for name brand footwear,” Scott said.
The MissionShoe is built as one cohesive shoe with minimal stitching, which makes the shoe more waterproof. With a rollstep heel, walking is more natural. And the sole is made with Dual Density sponge polyurethane, as opposed the traditional materials that cause hard edges in the shoes design. This product keeps the shoe lightweight — only 15 ounces per shoe — which is especially good for missionaries that spend a lot of time walking or biking. The non-slip shoes are reinforced with a thermoplastic toe. Even the shoelaces are made for hard work.
“MissionShoe is about producing a shoe at a lower cost than the name brand stuff that is out there while still matching or outperforming our competition,” Scott says.
The Tracting Deluxe shoe only costs $84.99, a low price for a durable shoe.
“It’s not about the money — it’s about covering the boys all around the world. I don’t want moms to worry about their boys when they go out.”
Plus, it comes with a satisfaction guarantee. The guarantee includes a full refund even if the missionary has only worn the shoes for a couple weeks. If the missionary doesn’t like them, then MissionShoe will take them back and offer a full refund.
“If you think these have failed you and are unhappy, we’ll take care of you,” Scott promises. “At the end, we’re still eating Ramen.”
While the initial shipping cost is $10, that is the only shipping cost customers will pay. Since there is currently no storefront, MissionShoe will cover the shipping for returns and exchanges.
“We make the online experience as easy as possible,” Scott says. And that includes hitting tight deadlines.
In the future, MissionShoe plans on opening a showroom at its new facility in Sugar City, Idaho. “For the same price of paying for gas to drive around shopping, you can ship your shoes,” Scott said.
And these shoes are tried and tested. MissionShoe has had someone hike a 14,000-foot peak in a pair of its shoes. Scott loves when families return with new missionaries after having success with the older sons on their missions.
“That makes me feel really good. It’s not just like they found us on the internet, which is cool,” he said.
While MissionShoe has found success with elders’ footwear, they do not carry shoes for sisters. At one point, the company experimented with durable dress shoes for women, but they weren’t able to keep up with the shifting fashion trends.
“They were durable and comfortable and they looking awful with a skirt,” Scott said. “Women’s apparel is a little different.”
Whereas men’s footwear style tends to stay constant for about five years, women’s footwear shifts more regularly.
“You’re definitely not driving the BMW of the shoe world,” Scott joked. But that’s because MissionShoe is focused on the task, which is keeping missionaries comfortable, and not the Instagramability.
Besides MissionShoe, the company has a variety of other brands. The company also produces other shoes under its brand, Kaiback Outfitters. Its most popular product is the vertico shower sandals, which are also helpful for missionaries in the Missionary Training Center or even in some mission fields.
“We’ve always kept the MissionShoe alive because, in the end, it is kind of our most important,” Scott says. “It holds the banner of why we love doing what to do, which is having a purpose and finding a cause and then producing items that we can rally behind.”
Learn more about at MissionShoe at missionshoestore.com.