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When you combine sneakers with dress shoes, you get DRESS SNEAKERS. Hand made by the finest craftsman.
When you combine sneakers with dress shoes, you get DRESS SNEAKERS. Hand made by the finest craftsman.
317 backers pledged $70,138 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$70,138

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InSoul represents TIMELESS QUALITY.
InSoul represents TIMELESS QUALITY.
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Above is a video from the TV show TakePart Live on the Pivot Network. InSoul Footwear was invited on to discuss our Dress Sneaker. Great exposure for our project.

LIMITED KICKSTARTER ONLY pricing.
LIMITED KICKSTARTER ONLY pricing.

What is a DRESS SNEAKER?  Sneaker styled upper with a dress shoe chassis (Outsole/construction)

What makes a Dress Sneaker better than a sneaker? A Dress Sneaker gets better with time by softening and conforming to the shape of your foot, similar to a dress shoe.  A sneaker gets worse the more you wear them. The comfort component of a sneaker compresses and eventually becomes hard and bad for the foot.

How is a Dress Sneaker made differently? A sneaker is made in a large manufacturing plant that mass produces million of shoes.  The sneaker gets passed down an assembly line so no one person ever has ownership of it throughout the process wording more about the quantity than the quality.  A Dress Sneaker/dress shoe is made in a small artisan's shop where one cobbler/craftsman takes full ownership of each and ever shoe.  They have passion for their craft as a art form and pride in what their shop delivers to the public.

A Dress Sneaker for your daily lifestyle!!!!
A Dress Sneaker for your daily lifestyle!!!!

About 5 years ago I reached out to a friend who worked at an expensive dress shoe factory and asked them to make me a sneaker using all of the quality and craftsmanship they used on the dress shoes. I wanted the shoes to appear like a sneaker at the first glance, but at a second look see the details were actually hand made by an authentic quality shoe maker. 

InSoul is a brand that celebrates the evolution of shoes/sneakers. The brand's core stems from American Sports styling but aspires to compete with the detailing of a wealthy italian brand. The line is all about details (leathers, linings, laces, eyelets, stitching, etc...). The shoe shapes are understandable.

Here is a photo of the brown and black low tops.  This shows the corrected black color of the waxed canvas.
Here is a photo of the brown and black low tops. This shows the corrected black color of the waxed canvas.
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Brown low top: PLEDGE $159 (Suggested Retail at $300)
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Brown low top: PLEDGE $159 (Suggested Retail at $300)
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Adjusted Black low top: PLEDGE $159 (Suggested Retail $300)
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Adjusted Black low top: PLEDGE $159 (Suggested Retail $300)
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Brown High Top: PLEDGE $179 (Suggested Retail $400)
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Brown High Top: PLEDGE $179 (Suggested Retail $400)
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Brown High Top: PLEDGE $179 (Suggested Retail $400) and Yes I flipped the image to make them all uniform on the page. So the logo will NOT be backwards!!
Hand oiled leather, waxed canvas and laces, with a natural saddle leather sidewall. Brown High Top: PLEDGE $179 (Suggested Retail $400) and Yes I flipped the image to make them all uniform on the page. So the logo will NOT be backwards!!
Both the High and Low White version will be ALL LEATHER.  So no canvas....with waxed laces, natural saddle leather sidewall. WHITE High Top: PLEDGE $179 (Suggested Retail $400)
Both the High and Low White version will be ALL LEATHER. So no canvas....with waxed laces, natural saddle leather sidewall. WHITE High Top: PLEDGE $179 (Suggested Retail $400)
Get all three colors for $530 (Brown, Black, White) Will be over $1000 at retail
Get all three colors for $530 (Brown, Black, White) Will be over $1000 at retail
High Top 3 Color Set: Pledge $530 (choose all three colors or which ever combo you prefer)
High Top 3 Color Set: Pledge $530 (choose all three colors or which ever combo you prefer)
Designed to combine the comfort and styling of an athletic shoe with the craftsmanship and detailing of a dress shoe.
Designed to combine the comfort and styling of an athletic shoe with the craftsmanship and detailing of a dress shoe.
Hand sketch of the low top.
Hand sketch of the low top.

 The name InSoul is an obvious play on the word "insole" but spelled "soul" to embrace the tie between music culture and the sneaker culture. Hip Hop music is currently associated with sneaker culture but InSoul seeks to celebrate the "soul music" that many artists take their inspiration from (samples). Using this foundation will hopefully give kids and their parents common ground to enjoy the brand's product and lifestyle.

Traditional inspiration translates to timeless product.
Traditional inspiration translates to timeless product.
 The colors and material inspiration are drawn from the evolution of photography and television.  The base colors reflect on sepia tones (browns, oranges, cremes) and the grey spectrum referencing black and white timeless imagery.  
We replaced the rubber sidewall with this beautiful saddle leather. Very expensive but there is no better quality on the market
We replaced the rubber sidewall with this beautiful saddle leather. Very expensive but there is no better quality on the market
The laser etched logo allows you to be proud of our brand while not being too in your face.
The laser etched logo allows you to be proud of our brand while not being too in your face.
 
InSoul Team Sean O'Shea, Geoff Deas, and Tara Livingston. 35 years combined footwear industry experience.
InSoul Team Sean O'Shea, Geoff Deas, and Tara Livingston. 35 years combined footwear industry experience.

Product Creation & Manufacturing Plan:

Although complex by nature, our manufacturing plan is quite simple to execute.  We have partnered with a small family owned and operated factory.   They have been with us from the inception of our project, crafting our initial development prototypes and beautiful sales samples.   We have negotiated pre-payment terms in order to manufacture our initial production runs.  Together we have agreed to keep production order quantities smaller to ensure quality craftsmanship standards and traditional shoemaking techniques are used to assemble each and every pair of InSoul dress sneakers.  

Design Phase (sketching, materials, and colors) 

This is the CAD of the white leather color way. We bring these into the computer so we can quickly make changes on the fly.
This is the CAD of the white leather color way. We bring these into the computer so we can quickly make changes on the fly.
These are our initial vision of the high and low top dress sneakers. As you can see we originally wanted leather outsoles with a herringbone pattern embossed. Would have looked amazing but not practical for traction.
These are our initial vision of the high and low top dress sneakers. As you can see we originally wanted leather outsoles with a herringbone pattern embossed. Would have looked amazing but not practical for traction.

 1st Round Prototypes

A huge milestone to reach, 1st round prototypes were our first opportunity to see our beautifully illustrated 2-dimentional concept become a product in hand.  We had already made the decision to execute development with a small dress shoe factory because their thorough understanding of the subtleties needed to make these samples more than just another pair of sneakers.   Our 1st round wasn’t far from our mark.  Upon review we made a few major changes and several detailed revisions, ultimately investing in another development round.

Here is a photo of our first prototype. As you can see there was too much toe spring so we asked the factory to bring it down.
Here is a photo of our first prototype. As you can see there was too much toe spring so we asked the factory to bring it down.

 2nd Round Prototypes

The completion of our 2nd round prototypes was a huge success.  Our initial requested revisions were executed without flaw.  Pattern proportions were corrected, details precisely executed, general esthetics were achieved, and the overall fit and comfort were completed.   We felt confident moving forward with our desired 3 color ways.  

Here you can see the leather outsole with a herringbone emboss versus the rubber outsole we decided to move forward with.
Here you can see the leather outsole with a herringbone emboss versus the rubber outsole we decided to move forward with.

 Production

If all goes well, Kickstarter will help us raise enough money to order the minimum first round of production (1000 pairs total).  We will pre-pay the factory for the raw materials, labor, packaging, and shipping.  The factory will then proceed to order the raw materials.  This could take up to 12 weeks before all parts are received.  Once in hand the project managers will schedule production space in the factory.  We plan to meet with the team to view pre-production samples for final approval.

Production of the 1000 pairs can take up to 30 days to complete due to the smaller factory size and the nature of hand made shoes.  Next we will be in the shipping phase.  The shoes will arrive in the United States approximately 45-60 day later.  Upon arrival we will have to ensure that our product can clear customs.      

Our team will personally pick and process each pair of shoes purchased.  We will ship each customer their order via USPS or Fed Ex and will email everyone specific tracking numbers for their records.  The process maybe labor intensive but will be the most exciting part for our team. 

We ask everyone to please make a pledge so we can afford to get production started which will ultimately give our brand a chance to get off the ground.  We will then be able to further pursue building this brand from the bottom up and push to provide the footwear industry with a diverse product that speaks to US, the consumer, for all occasions in our lives.  Thank You for Your Support! 

WHITE T-SHIRT $30 Pledge
WHITE T-SHIRT $30 Pledge
BLACK T-SHIRT $30 Pledge
BLACK T-SHIRT $30 Pledge

ADDITIONAL IMAGES: 

We will make the following improvements during production:

1.) Lining will be stitch & turned to eliminate frayed edges.

2.) Black canvas on the low top version will be darker, see high top for reference.

3.) White colorways will be ALL LEATHER!

4.) Yes, the low & high top brown colors are different, Low is "Dark Brown" and High is "Brown".

5.) SPECIAL NOTE:  Some natural variations in the leather and finishing details are to be expected.  The leather & canvas are hand oiled adding some darker/lighter variations to each pair.  The "handmade" processes will result in a subtle, yet beautiful perfect level of imperfections.

Brown DRESS SNEAKER High
Brown DRESS SNEAKER High
Black DRESS SNEAKER High
Black DRESS SNEAKER High
White DRESS SNEAKER High
White DRESS SNEAKER High
Black DRESS SNEAKER Low (note: canvas will be darker same as on black high version)
Black DRESS SNEAKER Low (note: canvas will be darker same as on black high version)
Dark Brown DRESS SNEAKER Low
Dark Brown DRESS SNEAKER Low

Risks and challenges

There are always risks and challenges when launching a new project from the ground up, however my small team is well experienced with strong backgrounds in the footwear industry.
The KEY ingredient missing for this project to become reality is the financial support. Our biggest obstacle is the fact that we need to pre-pay our small factory in order for 1st round production runs to be started. With your pledges and support here on Kickstarter we can make this happen. We WILL reach our goals, pre-pay our small factory and launch the original DRESS SNEAKERS by InSoul Footwear.

And just a reminder for all our backers: If we don't raise the funds enough to meet our GOAL, our project WON'T receive any of the partial funding.....Kickstarter is ALL or NOTHING!

UPDATE: THIS IS A RELAUNCH!!!!!! Below is the email we sent our current backers explaining why we relaunched.

We have some EXCITING NEWS to share with you. We have re-negotiated with our factory.

1.). REDUCED the cost of EACH PAIR... we are passing the SAVINGS directly to you.
-Low style is now $159. You save $36! (It was $195)
-High style is now $179. You save $46! (It was $225)

2.) Pledge Goal of $60k from $195k
-The factory has allowed us to open a smaller initial production run.
-This will significantly increase our chances of reaching our goal.

HERE'S THE CATCH:
In order to make these revisions to the project, we have to:
1.) CANCEL all of our current pledges
2.) Make the revisions to our Kickstarter campaign
3.) RE-LAUNCH the whole project from scratch
4.). Ask our backers to RE-PLEDGE

As a BACKER, you will have to RE-DO your pledge to InSoul Footwear "Dress Sneaker".

RISK: We risk loosing a few backers who don't make their re-pledge, but we feel very strongly about passing the savings onto our solid supporters and are confident this modification will ensure a successful project all together.

Thank you for support us and looking forward to your new pledge.

InSoul Footwear Team

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

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    Thank you. You will receive access to all project updates, photos, videos, and future discounts.

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    2 ADDITIONAL "Replacement" Flat Waxed Laces - (colors: black, brown, white)

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    Thank you so much! You will receive a designer signed copy of the original sketch and your name front and center on our website as an initial pledge. PLUS you will get access to all project updates, photos, videos, and future discounts.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    T-SHIRT: InSoul Branded cotton blended with screen printed graphics. Choose between a Black base or a white base. Drawing of the t-shirt at the bottom of the page.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    2 T-SHIRTS (Black and White), InSoul Branded cotton blended with screen printed graphics. Choose a Black base or a White base. Drawing of the t-shirt at the bottom of the page.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    2 T-SHIRTS colors of your choosing (black or white). Plus a copy of original Dress Sneaker Sketch signed by the designer. Thank you for the amazing support!!!

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    Pledge $159 or more About $159

    LOW TOP: ONE pair of InSoul Dress Sneakers. Color and size of your choice. This is a true value, once these get to retail, they will sell for nearly $300. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    Pledge $179 or more About $179

    HIGH TOP: ONE pair of InSoul Dress Sneakers. Color and size of your choice. This is a true value, once these get to retail, they will sell for nearly $400. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    Pledge $190 or more About $190

    LOW TOP & T-SHIRT: ONE pair of InSoul Dress Sneakers. Color and sizes of your choice. This is a true value, once these get to retail, they will sell for nearly $300. (Shoe Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    Pledge $210 or more About $210

    HIGH TOP & T-SHIRT: ONE pair of InSoul Dress Sneakers. Color and sizes of your choice. This is a true value, once these get to retail, they will sell for nearly $400. (Shoe Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    DOUBLE LOW - 2 Low Tops. Color and size of your choice with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    Pledge $330 or more About $330

    LOW & HIGH: 1 Low top and 1 High Top. Color and size of your choice with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    DOUBLE HIGH - 2 High Tops. Color and size of your choice with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    Pledge $470 or more About $470

    LOW CUT: Full set (All 3 colors) Color and size of your choice with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    HIGH CUT: Full set (All 3 colors) Color and size of your choice with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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    FULL SET: All 6 colors (3 high tops & 3 low tops) Color and size of your choice, with free US shipping, plus a mention on our website. (Colors: White, Black, Brown)

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Funding period

- (32 days)