How Matthew Smith is keeping Shoes for Crews slip resistant

Matthew Smith CEO Shoes for Crews LLC

Matthew Smith
Shoes for Crews LLC

Retail & Consumer Products


Matthew Smith
Shoes for Crews, LLC

Matthew Smith knew he was on the path to leadership at Shoes for Crews LLC since he first began working for the company in high school, a company his parents founded in 1984. In fact, instead of the typical college student pondering what to do in life, Smith spent his college days answering the question, “How can I use the people around me to be most successful at what I know I will do with my life?” 

From this early onset until today, Smith’s leadership strategies over his team of 484 employees and customers at 140,000 locations all still depend on teamwork, a reminder that some of the best ideas are suggested by others.

Shoes for Crews is the leading manufacturer and designer of proprietary slip-resistant footwear in the workplace and has been for more than 25 years. The company produces and sells 110 styles of footwear, with outsoles created with a rubber grid pattern to grip the roughness of the floor surface and to help channel liquids away from the bottom of the sole.

It was a business prospect who initiated the idea for the slip-resistant footwear business, a customer who suggested the employee payroll deduction business model, and a new face at a trade show who assisted in the development of a quality rubber formula that no competitor to date has been able to replicate. Smith’s leadership has joined these unique ideas to develop Shoes for Crews into the success it is today.

When Smith became the vice president of Shoes for Crews in 2001, the company only sold its footwear domestically. Since then, the company has begun production in both Canada and Europe and, just in 2011, opened a sales office and warehouse in Shanghai.

As CEO, Smith has devised a plan based on values learned from his parents, established goals and expectations to guide his business, and leads a company that continues to expand and thrive globally.

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