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Orthopedic shoes and insoles – Part 1

Orthopedic shoes are designed for deformed, diseased or totally amputated feet. Appointed by a physician experienced in the field, and made by an orthopedic master by individual order. In this article we will familiarize more in depth with them, as well as with the orthopedic insoles.

Image: © Ruslan Olinchuk / Fotolia

How it all begins?

Since ancient times, the shoe has accepted various forms. In this we are convinced by the preserved frescoes and paintings. The development of the shoe is affected by several factors: climate, financial ability, hygiene, manners, customs and fashion.

The shoemaker’s handcraft has always been respected, mainly because only the wealthy people could afford the services of the masters. Later, at the XV century, shoemakers began to put on the shoes a current, which raised their back part to keep it from the street garbage and mud. This technology has established itself both from a hygienic necessity, and from the economical side, because when needed was likely to change only the current or just the sole. The main role in the development of the shoes played the rich urban population and the army.

Rich people wanted for themselves and their children fine and shiny shoes and the army – strong and solid. Fashionable shoes were expensive, narrow, acute, but “luxury.” All these shoes, however, were medically ineffective.

For the first time in 1857 the anatomist Hermann Maier from Zürich suggested that the shoe should be constructed, taking into consideration the main functional line of the foot, which in his opinion begins from the middle of the heel, goes through the middle of the head of the first metatarsal bone and reaches to the middle of the thumb .

The method imposed only when it was approved by the Ministry of Defense. However, in this construction were not in accordance the lateral beams of the foot. The justification of the anatomical point of view was the requirement for large enough space in the shoe for all the toes, especially the fifth finger (pinky) – something that was currently missing. The axis of the new modern mold already passed from the middle of the heel through the middle of the second toe of the foot. The sharpening of the shoes was achieved by extending them.

Image: © Tombaky / Fotolia

The orthopedic insoles

With orthopedic insoles shall provide people with amended in light or severe degree feet. Supplying with the correct insoles for us does not seem a big problem. Expert’s opinion, however, is that “almost in the entire medical science there is such a therapeutic tool concerning which to reign such uncertainty and to be committed such mercantile outrages” (~ Renee Baumgartner).

The basic rules for manufacturing of the insole are:

• to retain for a long time the shape that it is given and to be slightly springy – elastic;

• to allow for further adjustment of its shape;

• to be solid and hygienic;

• to take up no large space in the shoe;

• to be with minimum weight;

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