Words Sally Macmillan
Bared Footwear has attracted an almost cult-like following since founder and CEO Anna Baird launched the business in 2008, but if you’re new to the brand, your feet are in for a delicious treat.
Bared Footwear has nailed the magic formula of producing shoes and boots for men and women that are seriously on-trend, designed for maximum comfort and, in keeping with our need to tread more lightly on the planet, are consciously crafted.
One of the secrets of Bared’s success is that every shoe is fitted with a unique biomechanical footbed and hidden support features that also accommodate orthotics. There are multiple fitting options to suit almost all foot types – narrow, wide, lumpy, bumpy, flat or high arch – so you can find a super-cool style that not only looks and feels good to wear, it actively does your whole body good.
Bared has a thriving online business, plus stores in Armadale, Brisbane and Melbourne, and the company opened its Sydney flagship store in 2021. While the online services are fantastic – you can schedule a personal video call with a fitting consultant seven days a week – the in-store experience is positively next level.
Your feet are measured and the expert team member looking after you will try any number of options to find your perfect fit. Many of the company’s 190-odd employees have been with Bared for years and superb customer service is a hallmark of the brand’s ongoing success. Anna says that not only does Bared make “great-looking, super-comfy shoes, we employ only the best human beings to look after our customers”.
Bared Footwear’s elegant Sydney store is located at 160 King Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 and is open seven days a week.
For more information, see baredfootwear.com/au
FOUNDER & CEO ANNA BAIRD: STEPPING UP
Bared Footwear has come a long way over 15 years. Podiatrist turned designer Anna Baird founded the boutique company to fill a noticeable gap in the market for high-fashion, highly comfortable footwear and as the business has grown, the focus has widened to embrace an inspiring range of environmental production initiatives.
As Anna says, shoes have many components and it’s challenging to manufacture a 100 per cent bio-based shoe that is both durable and compostable, but Bared is constantly researching more eco-friendly solutions. The label’s newly manufactured footbeds are made from 72 per cent plant-based B.plantfoam and it has introduced a plastic-free material called Mirum® for its vegan-friendly collection.
Adhesives remain a significant challenge for the whole industry, but Anna explains that exciting research in the use of a silk and mussel product is underway and plastic heel moulds may soon be replaced by moulds made from mushroom mycelium.
Meanwhile, Bared works with Melbourne-based company Save Our Soles to recycle old shoes that are collected in-store – so far, more than 16,000 pairs have been turned into rubber matting that’s used in retail flooring.