At TFC we believe every problem presents an opportunity. The bigger the problem, the bigger the opportunity for a business to design an opportunity that the world sees value in (and therefore the bigger the potential for making money).
Our mission is to support any individuals or companies seeking to solve problems in footwear. Below is a list of problems that we feel currently exist in footwear. Our team is standing by to work with anyone looking to solve them.
We're not going to sugar coat it - cleats suck right now. We understand that for field sports it's important to have added traction in the form of studs underfoot, but when that footwear is shaped like a submarine (narrow, pointed) instead of a foot, it ends up harming our feet more than helping them.
Creating flexible, foot shaped cleats that provide added traction without inhibiting foot function isn't rocket science but nobody seems to be doing it right now. Massive business opportunity and we're here to help.
From a business perspective, this is a gargantuan opportunity. Trades, warehouse workers, military, first responders (police, paramedic, fire) - they all require protective footwear and there doesn't seem to be any options on the market that we can proudly recommend.
Our team has lots of notes on innovative designs (inspired by armadillos & medieval armour suits) and material applications that would enable the creation of a protective footwear system that allows full foot function, sets a new standard in durability, optimally diffuses impact forces and can protect your paws from temperature, puncture and abrasion while being lightweight and breathable. Happy to help any company looking to solve this big problem.
We began a project to slowly chip away at this problem (@tfc.climb on Instagram) but don't have the resources right now to execute on it. Climbing shoes have sport specific requirements that allow humans to wedge their paws into tight spaces but we feel that can be done without the expense of destroying your feet.
A few companies out there are making wider cycling shoes but we still haven't come across any brands making foot shaped cycling shoes. Here to help anyone looking to solve that problem.
Snow sport footwear
As Canadians we love our winter sports and haven't come across any companies making foot shaped cross country or alpine ski boots. Here to help anyone looking to solve this problem and pioneer an industry of foot shaped boots.
The Stink Problem
Shoes don't have to stink. Bacteria and fungus thrives in a warm, moist environment so solving the stink problem is fairly simple: Design breathable windows that allow for airflow, use materials that don't absorb moisture and can be easily washed and dried. The materials already exist, they just aren't being used in footwear right now because of cost or lack of awareness that this is a problem worth solving.
Innovation: Footwear systems
Concept: instead of creating a single piece of footwear, create a footwear system. A system that includes a base layer that interacts with your foot and layers that can be added that have a specific functions. Interchangeable exoskeletons that provide traction, temperature protection, impact diffusion, puncture and abrasion resistance, insulation....and any other specific function you can think of. Lots of notes on this if anyone wants help innovating a marketable footwear system.
Big opportunity: close the loop with plastic. Innovate cost effective technologies and processes that turn plastic garbage into synthetic fibres that can be used to manufacture footwear. It's already being done but not at scale, not in footwear and not cost effectively.
Disposable plastic waste is a massive problem but it can also be an even bigger opportunity if we can turn that waste into raw materials for the next generation of materials used in clothing (including foot clothing aka footwear)