Do you hate wearing shoes? Are you one of those people who can’t wait to kick them off after work or an evening out? You’re not alone. According to Dan Cataldi, WG’23, over 80% of U.S. adults report experiencing foot discomfort. “It’s not because our feet are broken,” he says. “It’s because our shoes are doing less for us than they should.”
Cataldi is out to change how we think about footwear. He says his startup groov will “bring luxury custom insoles to the mass market—affordably, conveniently, and fashionably.”
Are we talking about orthotics? Cataldi resists the word, which he calls a legacy term from the medical profession. Moreover, he asserts that groov inserts aren’t meant to correct foot problems but to prevent them. “We’re going to find that optimal position for your foot—we’ll keep it there in a stable way that maximizes comfort and allows you to have protection from injury.”
Cataldi’s target market is competitive athletes, followed by healthcare workers. Beyond that, he envisions reaching anyone who’s on their feet a lot: from retail and restaurant workers, to doormen, to white-collar employees who enjoy walking to work.
To order a groov insert, a customer needs a device with face ID. Groov utilizes a proprietary app that guides the customer through five minutes of foot self-scans. In addition to this direct-to-consumer approach, Cataldi aims to form strategic partnerships with shoe brands so that groov can be found wherever customers already shop for footwear.
Cataldi is proud that groov has landed its first enterprise customer, “one of the largest, most well capitalized, most widely watched college athletics programs in the country.” He says he’s also garnered interest from a major footwear brand to do a pilot partnership. When it comes to success, one might say Cataldi already has his foot in the door!