fresh no ads
Comfortable heels? Global brand Bata has them |

Fashion and Beauty

Comfortable heels? Global brand Bata has them

#NOFILTER - Chonx Tibajia - The Philippine Star
Comfortable heels? Global brand Bata has them

Thomas A. Bata, chief marketing officer of Bata shoes

It’s not an oxymoron, not for global brand Bata shoes. Founded in the 18th century — a period in history we can only binge-watch on Netflix — by Tomas Bata in the Czech Republic, Bata has not only witnessed the evolution of footwear, but also had a hand in it. As Bata opens its first store in the Philippines, Thomas A. Bata, chief marketing officer and proud descendant of the company’s founder, talks about the brand, their core values, and why living in heels — comfortably — could soon be a thing.

THE PHILIPPINE STAR: You’re the great grandson of the founder. How do you feel about leading a heritage company like Bata Shoes?

THOMAS A. BATA: We’re very proud to be able to carry it on. We’ve been in the shoe business for 27 generations, making cobblers. My great grandfather invented the process of industrializing footwear in Europe at that time, so it’s a big legacy. We try our best to keep on with his principles and make our consumers very happy.

The first shoe your great grandfather, Tomas Bata, created was the batovka. What’s the story behind it?

We’re talking about 1894, when most shoes were made by hand, a very labor-intensive and expensive process. He came up with a process of creating a shoe that was accessible to everybody, because not everybody could afford shoes. So he looked for materials that didn’t cost a lot of money and came up with a shoe that was made of canvas and rubber. He came up with the idea of making shoes that everybody could wear and were three to four times cheaper than anything in the market and just as durable. Fortunately, we’ve moved on since the batovka days, but that’s where it all started.

During the early years of the company you were already helping communities with Bataville.

A big part of our DNA is we still produce most of the shoes we make. We still have factories throughout the world, as well as retail stores. In our factory communities, we run the schools, we run the hospitals, we run all the services, so we treat our employees like they’re part of the family and help them and their children achieve their ambitions. It’s part of the philosophy that made the company successful, that people are very loyal with the company and supported its growth.

What is the essence of the modern Bata shoe?

We make stylish shoes that are comfortable. We believe that consumers have to make a choice whether to buy pretty shoes or comfortable shoes, and we want to be that brand where you can get both at the same time. You can get something that looks cool, but the fit is also very good. And we try to deliver all that at the best price that the market can offer.

What is the technology behind your products?

The most important part of the shoe is the fit, the shape. What we call a “last” shapes the shoe and that’s very important. When you have the right last, the shoe fits your foot like a glove. The other important part is the cushioning and the insole, or the bottom part of the shoe. It has to be cushioned in the place where you put the most pressure.

We’ll be launching a new shoe in March called Batinsolia, which perfectly distributes weight. We’ve been working on it for five years with some of the best foot doctors in the world to really figure out how to solve the weight problem. We’re trying to medically-base our technologies to see their effects on health and the way you move. Most health shoes are really ugly, but there’s no scientific reason that should be the case. There’s nothing stopping us from making a stiletto that distributes weight perfectly through. This has been our real goal and we’re very happy that we’re getting results.

Is it true that the distance of the heel to the forefoot contributes to comfort, or is that a myth?

It’s a true to a degree. It really depends on how the weight is distributed. It matters how tall you are, how much you weigh. There are small differences — it’s a complicated art, actually. More weight on the front is better than more weight on the heel. That’s just my recommendation when purchasing footwear.

Are you brining in more women’s shoes to the Philippine market?

We’ve been very strong in kids’ shoes in many parts of the world. In Europe, we’ve been very strong with ladies, and partially because in Asia because the trend in ladies fashion has been more recent. More ladies’ now are looking for cool products, so in the Philippines we’re planning on bringing more European-style products for the trendy market. We’re going to offer the full family of products — 60 percent women, 20 percent men, and 20 percent accessories and kids.

Why did you choose to partner with SM?

We teamed up with the SM Group, who actually has a shoe heritage as well. SM Megamall is one of the most prominent malls in Manila, so we thought that this would be the perfect place to launch the brand. We’d be very visible. And we’ll be opening in all the major SM malls in the next year.

What are the trends for the coming year?

Silver is very strong at the moment. The flatform white sole is also very strong. Block heels are coming back, especially with mules. These are the big trends that we’re seeing globally.

So would I be able to run in your stilettos?

Well, I wouldn’t recomment running in any kind of stiletto, but, walking long distances, yes! We’ve been doing tests with our new Insolia technology. We did tests on women who wear heels all day for work, so airplane hostesses, waitresses, etc. Using our technology, they can go up to three times longer without feeling discomfort, which is amazing.

Global brand Bata, founded in the Czech Republic 27 generations ago, opens its first store in the Philippines at SM Megamall.

* * *

Bata Shoes is located at the 3rd level of SM Megamall, Building B.

vuukle comment
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with