Cole Haan: The Legacy of This Comfortable, Yet Fashionable Brand

Cole Haan is a brand founded on a reputation of quality, style and craftsmanship for both men and women. This post will discuss Cole Haan’s founding legacy through its partnership with Nike and why it remains an excellent choice for customers looking for a pair of shoes that combine fashion and foot health all in one great style. 

Cole Haan’s Origins and History

Cole Haan began as a men’s footwear store, founded by Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan in Chicago in 1928. Although their primary focus was men’s footwear, they soon branched out into women’s and children’s shoes along with luggage and accessories. The company headquarters moved to Maine and, for decades, established a reputation for high-quality footwear.
In 1975, the two founders sold to a group of partners headed by George Denney. In the next decade, they turned the company into one of the leading U.S. brands of footwear and expanded into retail stores worldwide. The brand now carries dress shoes, casual shoes, women’s orthotic shoes, orthotic shoes for men and a full line of accessories and luggage.

Nike Partnership for Additional Orthopedic Shoe Support

Cole Haan’s most significant innovation came when Nike bought out the company in 1988. Rather than sticking with a typical rubber outsole, Cole Haan combined the quality and stylish leather upper of their classic shoe with an athletic shoe’s technology. This combination of comfort with athletic style created a dress shoe that feels like a sneaker, which is still their signature style today.
Scott Patt, the Chief Creative Officer at Cole Haan, explains in an interview for Sneakers Magazine that their footwear brand blurs the lines between function and style. “We design for how people live, how they want to look and how they want to feel. It’s design with purpose, whether it’s a reinvented dress shoe or sneaker, or an invented hybrid somewhere in between.”
This attention to comfort and style is especially true for their Original Grand Short Wingtip shoe. It is a classic wingtip oxford shoe with a rich look and texture, and a lightweight rubber sole cushioned with Grand OS technology for ultimate comfort. It’s a dress shoe that feels and wears like a sneaker.

Our Other Favourite Cole Haan Styles for Orthotic Support

Grand Pro Tennis Sneaker:

This best-selling sneaker is supportive, stylish, breathable and even comfortable in warm temperatures. A great walking shoe, the GrandPro Tennis Sneaker features Grand.ØS cushioning technology with rubber traction pods for extra grip on uneven surfaces.

Tucker Venetian:

For a more casual dress look, the Tucker Venetian is a classic leather men’s loafer you can pair with a custom orthotic for ultimate comfort and support.

Zerogrand StitchLite Wingtip Oxford:

The Zerogrand StichLite Wingtip Oxford is a comfortable, wear-anywhere design that features a stylish knit-upper. The shoe is lightweight and flexible with a sock-like fit and no need for laces. It makes a great summer shoe that works with the movement of your foot, so you know you’ll have the support you need.
Nike sold Cole Haan to Apax Partners in 2012 for $570 million and moved its headquarters to Greenland, New Hamshire. The company continues to be a leader in footwear innovation and creates comfortable shoes for women and comfortable shoes for men. It now has over 70 stores in countries around the world.

Explore to find the perfect pair to combine with our custom orthotic inserts.

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