About Common Tread

Common Tread was founded by husband and wife team John and Nicole van Besouw, an engineer and occupational therapist respectively.

Observing their sons navigating nature's obstacles during family outings, they recognized the importance of allowing children to experience the world barefoot while acknowledging the need for protective footwear.

Aware of the detrimental effects of conventional thick-soled shoes on young feet, Nicole, alongside her husband John, embarked on a mission to craft functional yet stylish footwear that nurtures natural development & movement.

Their vision materialized through meticulous research, trial, and error in their garage workshop. Leveraging John's design prowess and business acumen, complemented by Nicole's expertise and marketing finesse, the duo created Common Tread—a brand dedicated to fostering confident exploration while easing the burden on busy parents.

Partnering with skilled artisans in Cape Town and Durban, each pair of Common Tread shoes is meticulously handcrafted from locally sourced materials, including premium Namibian leather. With aspirations to redefine the barefoot design landscape in South Africa, the couple remains committed to community upliftment and children's education.

Despite the challenges of balancing entrepreneurship with family life, Nicole and John prioritize maintaining their familial bond, involving their children in the creative process and fostering a culture of teamwork and resilience.

Common Tread isn't just about footwear; it's a testament to familial dedication, craftsmanship, and the belief that every step forward holds the promise of a brighter future.