Specializing in comfort and hailing from Israel, Naot is known to provide consumers a wide range of silhouettes including their signature clogs and sandals. With all their manufacturing in Israel and materials sourced from Europe, prices for Naot’s footwear fit comfortably at the $100 to $200 range.
Naot’s specialty is its insole, this is where the comfort comes for each of their shoes and is one of the major appeals of the brand. The insole is made from cork, latex and memory foam, meant to provide both arch support and a comfortable fit. “Each shoe is made to look pretty and actually function,” said Vice President of U.S. Operations Ayelet Lax Levy.
The brand is able to meet this unity of form and function with their 30-person design team in Israel. For each designer coming up with a visual model of a new shoe, there is a product designer assuring the shoe meets Naot’s comfort and practically standard.
One of Naot’s most popular collections, the Koru line, is made with the Strobel construction method, where the sock lining is sewn to the outsole and the upper. “We use the Strobel construction method that’s usually only found in designer pieces, and we bring it down to a more affordable price point.” According to Levy, this method allows for more comfortable and flexible shoes while reducing the amount of glue used and waste created in manufacturing.
Naot doesn’t provide any direct-to-consumer shopping from their website. Rather they stick with retail through department stores like Nordstrom, Dillard’s or online sites like Zappos and Amazon. “We don’t want to compete directly against our retailers. They’re the people that brought us where we are today, so we want to support them,” Levy said.
To increase brand awareness Naot has started paying close attention to their social media in addition to their regular channels of advertising. “We have been working on social media in a much larger capacity. We just kind of ignored it before hand,” Levy said. Since they started to focus on their social media presence, Naot’s Facebook page activity has quadrupled and Levy says the retailers carrying their product have noticed the difference.
With a collection that includes sandals, clogs and many boot options, Levy says that Naot isn’t a seasonal brand, but she admits that sales do slow down during the snowiest months in North America. For 2017 Levy details some of the new collections for the brand. “Next year we split our direction in two ways, one is very boho, and the other is what we’re calling city. We definitely have a glitzier customer, so for the first time ever we’re diving into some eveningwear.”
For the upcoming dress collection, Levy says to expect their signature sandals redesigned for more elegant settings with heels.
Levy is also very proud of Naot’s Israeli factories. Finding its home in a region often divided by religious intolerance and war and, she says that the Naot factory is a small-scale model of “middle eastern peace.”
“We hire Christians, Druze, Muslims, Jews, people from all different backgrounds and everyone works together. Everyone is really good friends, they attend each other’s weddings, or the naming of each other’s babies, they share all the joys in each other’s lives.”