Blue heelers are the most popular shoe brand in the US and they’ve already made a name for themselves on the American football field.
But how does the shoe industry know what they are and what to expect?
We spoke to one of the shoe giants about the blue heel logo and its importance to the shoe business.
“The Blue heel logo was originally created by a company called ‘Troy’ and it’s a blue silhouette with a black outline,” says Steve Odom, CEO of the American blue shoe company, Blue Heritage.
“The name ‘blue heeler’ is a reference to the iconic American red heeler that was a shoe that went on to be one of many in the company’s lineup.”
The Blue Heritage logo, which stands for “Blue Heritage” in blue, was first used in 1954, but it wasn’t until the mid-1980s that the shoe company introduced the shoe in a new color, white, which is what blue heeling is now.
“It was the first time we introduced the white blue shoe, which was really our most successful model, and it was in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s that we really got into this thing of creating a white shoe and really pushing it to the limits,” Odom explains.
“So that’s where the blue-ish silhouette came from, which we still do today.
The blue heel is the most important symbol to the Blue Heritage brand and it represents the pinnacle of the brand.”
It’s not only blue that Blue Heritage uses as a mark in their line, the shoe also uses the word blue in its logo, though the shoe is still available in white and blue.
“Blue Heritage has been using the blue for a long time, it’s not an exclusive brand anymore,” Odoms explains.
“There are a lot of brands that use the same blue shoe and the Blue heeler is a really great example of that.
We do a lot with it and it really reflects the Blue heritage brand and the heritage of our industry.”
When the company first launched its blue heel shoe in 2002, it was a very low-profile shoe that wasn’t as well-known outside of the sport of football.
It was a model shoe with a plain white heel and a black stripe.
It wasn’t known to the general public as a blue shoe.
“I think the shoe was very niche,” Ooms says.
“People didn’t really know what to make of it, but they loved it because it had a blue heel and it looked like a blue, plain shoe.”
It took some time for the shoe to gain popularity, but Blue Heritage eventually got its footing in the football community, where Blue Heritage had become a big player in the industry.
“When we first launched the shoe, we weren’t the biggest brand in football,” O dom says.
“So we thought it was time to expand and get out of the blue shoe business and focus on the blue shoes we were selling in the NFL.”
Then we saw the popularity of the shoes we sold, and we started getting some inquiries from players and coaches, so we got into a little marketing campaign.
“That’s when we began to expand the line.
And that’s when the blue and white came into the picture, so that’s the story of our history.”
The company was a big name in the business when the shoe launched in 2002 but they weren’t able to stay on top of the demand for their shoe in the long term.
“They started to have some issues,” Oems says.”[Blue Heritage] had a good run for a while, and when they started to sell more shoes, it got better and better and then they stopped.”
Eventually the shoe started to look less and less like a shoe, and the blue motif became a little bit more of a trademark.
“At the time, we were not very popular, so the shoe wasn’t very popular,” O says.
In the meantime, the company also started to take notice of the growing popularity of Nike’s Air Max and Air Max 2 in the basketball world.
“We saw a couple of other companies coming into the business and they were getting in on the shoe game and they really started to dominate the market,” O adds.
“But we didn’t have that much market share.”
Blue Heritage eventually hit a roadblock.
“After we had a successful run, we started to get a little tired of that shoe, so then the shoe went off the market, and now we’re in a tough spot,” O states.
“Because we were getting a lot more inquiries from other players, coaches and owners about the shoe.”
Blue heelers became the focus of attention for many shoe companies, but the shoe’s reputation wasn’t taken seriously enough by the shoe market to help it make a lasting impact on the sport.
“Most shoe companies don’t have a huge following,” O explains.