People discovered two thousand years ago that even well-worn sandals may be a pain. They padded their sandals with layers of wool to keep their tired, hurting feet comfortable. Everett Dunbar of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, invented the first arch support in 1865 by inserting leather “lifts” between the insole and outsole of his shoes. Royal Whitman, a Boston orthopedist, invented the first real orthotic in 1905. Despite being expensive, heavy, and misshaping the shoe, the stiff, metal arch support known as the ‘Whitman Brace’ was highly popular.
In 1910, a lighter and more flexible metal support was produced, indicating how many individuals were looking for comfort from their aching feet. There was a trend in the 1920s and 1930s for shoes with built-in orthotics that promised to alleviate a variety of foot issues. Production and pricing had gotten so out of hand by the 1940s that the Federal Trade Commission was forced to step in. Stock shoe insoles ordered by size were popular in the 1960s, but they didn’t improve foot comfort or function any more than the mass-produced counterparts marketed today. The advent of new, lighter, and stronger materials opened the path for the modern custom orthotic.
A More Active Way of Life
The ordinary individual got more active and sports-oriented in the 1970s, and jogging became highly popular. Lower-extremity injuries became more common, and the orthotics business expanded in sophistication and responsiveness. Designers and makers of athletic shoes began to include more noticeable insoles and other support features in their footwear. Doctors and physical therapists began advocating custom orthotic inserts as part of treating lower leg, ankle, and foot disorders, and sports medicine practices began to spring up.
IDEASTEP Orthotics now offers an inventive online ordering and fitting process that delivers bespoke orthotics to your doorstep. Dr. O and her team of experts, including a licensed pedorthist, make our custom-fitted orthotic inserts on site. You order the style of orthotic that’s right for you – we create them for every type of shoe – then wait for your impression kit to come (it normally arrives in two days) and take impressions of your feet according to the simple instructions. Your new custom orthotics will come in 5-7 days after they get your impression kit, and your happier, healthier feet will be able to take you wherever you want to go! This method is also great for someone who is unable to leave their home physically.
For thousands of years, people have suffered tired, painful feet. Thankfully, modern technology and Foot Doctors Orthotics provide us with relief in the form of lightweight, durable, custom-made orthotics. Our feet will always be there to get us through the day and to enrich our lives by helping us in our activities and sports. You’ll understand why so many individuals wear IDEASTEP Orthotics’ bespoke orthotics every day once you’ve experienced how much they can improve your life.