With a unique blend of streetwear and combat utility, Woobies has firmly cemented itself as one of the fastest growing footwear brands in America. Here’s the story of how it began:
It started with “Finding a Purpose,” says Woobies founder Anthony Aguiniga. Anthony, after spending the better part of a decade in the Army Special Forces, had a difficult time transitioning back into civilian life. He went from job to job, starting as a Firefighter / EMT in Dallas, then moving to law enforcement and then again to security contracting. He took whatever job came his way…even selling Harley Davidsons at one point. Unfortunately, none of those jobs fulfilled him the same way that his time as a Green Beret did and he struggled to find purpose.
“I’d always been a sneaker-head but after spending time in the Special Forces, I gained a genuine appreciation for the importance of great footwear.”
The combat boots were tough as nails and lasted through any situation whether it be mud, snow, or rain. But that’s the thing, they were literally tough as nails, uncomfortable, and didn’t have many use cases outside of a conflict zone. That’s when Anthony found his lightbulb idea, his purpose. With the goal of “sneakerization” of the combat boot. He wanted to create a shoe that could not only hold up in extreme conditions but also appeal to those that appreciated durable style.
Eventually, Anthony pulled the trigger and started the company in 2015.
“It was trial and error and sleepless nights for two straight years. I bordered on bankruptcy four times and kept rolling the dice as our community grew.”
After passing through the rubicon of those early years, the brand began to take off in the protective service communities (active duty, veterans, firefighters, law enforcement… even nurses and surgeons have become proud owners of Woobies).
“Here’s the secret”, says Anthony: “Authentic communication, uncompromising customer service, and quality product.”
Of course, the fusion of combat boots and sneakers makes for a damn great shoe. It started with the low top 5.56, then the mid-top, and most recently the Woobies MOD-1; a ‘sneaker’ with the outsole durability of a boot, constructed with very durable breathable canvas.
Not once in those early days of 2015 did Anthony believe he could create a footwear company this big. Fast forward to now, the Mod-1s have become a staple amongst Protective Service and Special Operations organizations. The Woobies team will never forget where they came from and will always support veterans and first responders through leadership, events, and promotions.
Why the name “Woobies?”
“Our shoes are named after iconic military issued gear. Period.” Says Anthony.
When US troops draw their gear, one of the line items they are issued is the “liner, wet weather, poncho.” This is one of the most important pieces of gear in US combat history and is still being issued to this day. Around the Vietnam Era, this poncho protected troops from the swampy, wet conditions of the Vietnam jungle. In fact, US troops loved it so much, they gave it the name “Woobie.” This name has caught on for generations and combat troops still call it “Woobie” today. This lightweight, durable, water resistant blanket is usually one of the items that issuing facilities don’t receive back after one’s service. The troops love their Woobie.
Due to the great functionality and history of the blanket, it was a no-brainer for Anthony to name his brand Woobies. He wanted a name with recognition by the military and Woobies seemed to fit perfectly for lightweight, durable, water-resistant footwear. This is where and why we call our shoes “Woobies.” Not only does it match the amazing features of the “Woobie”; but it’s also meant to honor past, present, and future troops. The poncho liner will not let you down. In times of need, you can always rely on it…and as a veteran, you find a way to keep one in your house. We strongly believe our shoes are the same.
The Woobies Outsole system:
This shoe is designed to be like a map.
If you flip the shoe upside down, you will notice it’s low-topography within the crevices of the shoe. The shoe sits flat on the surface to give the customer an intimate foot-to-ground experience. This advantage gives the treading a sticky non-slip experience. This gives you better awareness of what you are traveling on and helps prevent slips due to walking, hiking, or running over slick surfaces in wet conditions.
The new outsole system was originally developed in conjunction with former Special Operations “plain clothes” personnel. These teams needed something as durable as their combat boots but non-aggressive looking.
The bottom pattern design resembles a 1:50,000 scale terrain map used by the military. The discerning eye will notice that it’s a partial section of a very famous Green Beret candidate training area. The contour-lines in our footwear give honor to our military heritage so when you wear Woobies, you are taking tradition and history with you on every step.