Once upon a time, the world of footwear was dominated by big brands that cared more about themselves than the people they were providing for. But then, a diverse group of entrepreneurs decided to create a shoe range that not only looks and feels good, but also steps up to the challenge of improving footwear sustainability, one coffee at a time (you’ll learn how later in this blog).
And so, Freeworld Australia was born – a revolutionary Australian shoe company paving the walkway to a better future and quality of life...even though we're well into the 'third act' of ours.
It all started with small steps & big gulps…of coffee
If there's one thing Freeworld co-owner and founder Mike Todd loves, it's walking – and coffee! Luckily, these two things go hand in hand, especially on a slow Sunday morning circling the bay in Sydney, Australia.
As an avid walker and travel enthusiast, Mike recognised an opportunity to create a shoe line that prioritised comfort and longevity for all walks of life across all types of terrain. He began envisioning an ultra-light, ultra-comfortable walking shoe focused on foot recovery.
In 2019, Mike crossed paths for the first time with Imran Omar in Singapore. As fate would have it, Imran was also looking to design a similar sandal. So, joining forces with their exceptional shoe engineer and friend Charlie Song, they started bringing this vision to life – now known as the 'Original Recovery Thong'.
Backed by Mike and Imran's valuable product design and branding experience, plus Charlie's impressive work for leading brands such as Nike and K2, Freeworld had really scored the 'dream team'. It seemed that nothing could stop them!
Well, maybe one thing could…
Just as things started to kick off for Freeworld, a mysterious virus started to cause chaos across the globe…A.K.A COVID-19. This new climate forced our team to reassess and realign our business goals. We had some hard discussions about whether to continue or take a step back. But, we are glad we chose to soldier on because just as the world seemed to have stopped, people were itching to get outside and take advantage of those precious couple hours of fitness and human connection per day.
With more and more Aussies of all levels and ages walking to maintain their physical and mental health, we were inspired to design the ultimate, all-purpose walking shoe – the Comfort Plus.
Comfort, style & support tied into the one shoe
Utilising the learnings and discoveries from our first sandal design, the Freeworld team optimised the Comfort Plus to incorporate the best of the best.
Featuring our therapeutic EVA+ technology for elite cushioning and durability, market-leading odour-resistant materials and excellent arch support, the Comfort Plus allows you to walk fresher for longer. As an all-purpose shoe, you can, of course, wear the Comfort Plus to jog, run or dance if you desire.
However, helping you to blitz your competitors or beat Personal Bests isn't the goal at Freeworld – our goal is to achieve world-class comfort as you celebrate the small wins in life, from simply getting out of bed in the morning or choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Available in a range of sizes and colours with free worldwide shipping, we've ensured everyone can experience the Freeworld difference.
Walk the distance with The Baywalker!
While we aim to stock shoes to suit all walks of life, we also appreciate that some people want to take walking a bit more seriously. That's why we decided to design a new and improved sports walking shoe.
Available from April 2023, this ergonomically-designed sneaker features an extra-thick midsole for superior cushioning and support, allowing you to walk the distance. What really makes this shoe stand out from the rest, though, is the coffee-infused EVA sole.
Yep, you read that right! We discovered that we could boost the durability, elasticity and sustainability of the shoe by adding old, discarded coffee grinds to the EVA manufacturing process. Of course, the fact that we LOVE coffee is just a bonus.
Maintaining our ‘Good Enough’ mindset
Over the years, we've learned that achieving perfection is not the point – it's the monumental or incremental experiences along the way. One of the main reasons we love walking is that you don't need to be the fittest person in the world to do it or gain value from it. Whether you prefer taking a leisurely stroll or a serious power walk, you'll still have made a valuable step towards an improved mental and physical state.
You don't need to be great – just good enough. This mindset is the foundation of Freeworld, as we strive towards being a leading shoe manufacturer in Australia. From more sustainable practices and ethical material sourcing to health-conscious technology and cost-effective design, we constantly look for ways to grow and better ourselves. And we are so grateful that you're here with us for the ride – or should we say, 'walk'!