Atoms is the perfect example of re-introducing something ordinary in a phenomenal way. Most startup founders start with the approach of having a unique innovative idea that would give them a breakthrough in the industry. Atoms Shoes founders Sidra Qasim and Waqas Ali did something quite different. They entered into an existing ordinary industry and redefined its landscape. They make minimalistic sneakers with a modern touch and a lot of thought poured in. As stated by Vogue, “These might be the most thoughtfully designed sneakers ever.”
Atoms claims that it is the one and only shoes for you. And oh they are so right. Let’s check out what makes Atoms different than the other sneaker brands, and why they are so much better.
Atoms shoes’ core identity is “fit”. The company claims that about 60% of people have one foot bigger than the other. Following this up, Atoms comes in quarter sizes – not just half and full – and when you order you receive 3 different sizes. You try them on and are allowed to keep a different size for each foot while returning the rest without any shipping fee.
A few more great features of Atoms’ sneakers include a breathable mesh upper, a sole made of rubber and foam, and elastic laces—allegedly so you only have to tie them once, no matter how often you slide them on and off.
Atoms might take some time to get used to, but they are the most comfortable shoes to wear then. They are lightweight, airy, and hug your feet perfectly.
Lastly, an important yet ignored feature of the shoes is that they have no branding. Yes. Atoms does not place their logo over their shoes, they keep it simple and elegant. As Atoms co-founder Waqas Ali perfectly puts it.
“People buy fancy dress shoes they never wear, yet feel embarrassed by the childish designs and branding on most sneakers. “We perfected Atoms for your everyday routine — walking, standing and commuting,” he explains. “You are a person not a billboard, so there’s no logo.”
Now that we have reviewed these minimalistic sneakers, let’s take a look at the brains behind the company. Originally from Okara, Pakistan, the 2 co-founders have made it all the way to Brooklyn where Atoms is currently established.
Atoms founders Waqas Ali and Sidra Qasim had a passion for creating shoes which led to the origins of the company. The two met through Sidra’s sister from whom Waqas was taking English classes. They lost touch after that but reconnected sometime later when Sidra reached out to Waqas for some work. They were fascinated by high-end products and their conversation would entail how better shoes could be created. Once they started digging into it, one thing led to another and soon they were working full time on their idea.
Waqas and Sidra started making handcrafted leather footwear and established their first company by the name of “Markhor”. However, they soon realized that their idea was not sustainable and that they were in the wrong business. Even though people were buying their product, they were using it only on special occasions. For everyday use, their audience would lean towards sneakers and more casual footwear. The founders wanted to sell a product that people would use every day, hence they decided to pivot, and consequently, Atoms was born.
The ultimate goal for Sidra and Waqas is to inspire people through their products at Atoms. They don’t want to just sell, they want to tell a story. They want to constantly improve Atoms, and make it relevant and valuable to the point where its products are seen as a necessity.
Building an ecosystem like that takes time and a lot of perseverance. To be able to have a huge impact on a colossal scale is a feat unparalleled to any other. What do you think? Will the founders of Atoms be able to see their vision turn into reality? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.