Orthopedic footwear


Already in ancient times the understanding was reached about fit and proper footwear. It had to protect the feet of dirt and dust, of cold and gravel, and also the footwear must not limit and constrain the muscles functionality. The Romans up to 18 years old were prohibited to wear any type of shoes and to take part in sport competitions not being barefooted as well. Four thousand years ago in Ancient China it was considered that the reason for human chronic deceases was the wearing of the shoes and therefore the constraining of the feet muscles functioning. The following fact of the matter was well known and appreciated – the actively working feet muscles provide proper blood circulation and lymph circulation in the human organism, i.e. sustain the metabolism processes in the cells. The skeletal muscles are the engines of the venous and lymph pumps. The muscles contraction in these pumps has to take place synchronously, according to the programs that the nature itself had established. In the case of feet deformations, the character of gait itself becomes disrupted, as well as the programs of muscles contractions. While the feet are enveloped in the footwear or while the rigid orthotics are used for feet support, the shape of the surface under the foot is unchangeable and the muscles contraction is restricted. This fact is reflected on their nutriment, thus the muscles are quickly losing their tone. Walking barefooted and walking in the shoes – these are two completely different kinds of movements and another sequence of muscles contractions.

The feet arches serve as support for the whole body skeleton. They compensate for shifting’s of body’s centre of gravity, keeping this centre confined within the borders of support area. This area is limited by the three support points. It may seem as the commonplace and trivia known from the geometry since Hippocrates times. But, as it appears, far from everybody is aware of this nowadays. Therefore, 80% of footwear on the market is not manufactured properly. Support points of the foot in the shoe and support points of the foot skeleton do not correspond to each other.

The same picture we observe when considering how rigid orthotics are manufactured. All these result in the fact that kids of 1.5-3 years old already possess serious deformations of the toes and of the feet arches. Wearing the footwear that does not provide support under the heel and under the toes, result in deformation of the lateral arch. Its vertex descends and tears through the skin surface of the sole. The foot compromised in such way is not able to amortise and absorb shocks and strikes, and therefore this individual’s brain experiences the impact thrusts. Moreover – the five phases of muscles contractions are not in place – that five standard phases in rolling foot over from heel to toes, that result in lifting blood to the heart. The body’s imbalance transforms into both overstrained muscles and overworked Central Nervous System. Not rare nowadays are the painful heels. This happens when the shoe heelpiece reclines not in the centre but in front of heel bone. Soft tissues begin to press the heel spur, blood circulation undergoes disruption – thus the pain emerges, but all the blame is laid on the heel spur.

The features critical for right and proper footwear:

1. The special, individual and distinct heelpiece height, which reflects the particularities of the skeleton-muscles feet carcass. It is defined by hydrostatic method using the standing position of the body. The feet are positioned on the elastic diaphragms of the communicable vessels. The shoe heelpiece must be hard and firm, and have to be stable and to resist rotation with respect to support bearing points of the front section. All these demands are satisfied by the metal instep-raiser of the shoe.

2. The footwear length is defined with taking into account the toes lengthening when they experience loading at time of roll over and push. This amount is 0.5-1 cm.

3. The front compartment of the footwear must not restrict the toes mobility and slant them aside from direction of the movement. The toes muscles are the strongest in the human body. Varicosities and swelling are the reflection of some infraction in the functioning of corresponding muscles pumps, and at the same time the indication of substantial toes deformations.

4. The sole must demonstrate maximum elasticity. It must be able to bend where the foot bends. The sole have not to restrain and alter the character and pattern of the gait, i.e. the pumps functioning.