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zócalo Shoes Euro-Pedorthic Orthotics
At Zócalo Shoes, we use only the highest quality materials available in the world. In Germany, there is an infrastructure of foot health in the form of pedorthic facilities throughout country, connected to the German health care system. This creates an environment that allows for research and development and discovery of the best possible solution for the foot.
Conventional Orthotics vs. Zócalo Shoes Euro-Pedorthic Orthotics
What have they discovered? An orthotic is not a magical device. In the United States, many practitioners tell their patients that their orthotics will fit into any shoe. A person experiences a grim reality when they try to put the orthotics into a shoe. No matter how technical an orthotic may be, if the footbed of the shoe is not level and stable, the orthotic will rock from side to side, making it unstable as well. At this level, orthotics are dangerous to the patient and contrary to resolving any disorder, they only exacerbate the foot problem in question.
In order for the orthotic to be truly functional, the space and platform for the orthotic must be designed into the shoe itself. An orthotic and its shoe are a matched set that evolve and perform together.
At Zócalo Shoes, we choose resilient materials based on each patient’s physiology and foot issues to create our Euro-Pedorthic orthotics. All materials and adhesives are imported from Germany for their purity and integrity. German orthopedic materials are much more refined than others and have a combination of 80 different densities. The German adhesives we use do not contain harmful MDK or toluene, which all American adhesives do. Because of our heightened attention to materials and the three-way interface between the foot, the shoe and the orthotic, our Europedorthic products are simply the best to be had in the United States.
Zócalo Shoes is the only pedorthic facility in the United States using exclusively German materials in the fabrication of orthotics.
Understanding Support and Zócalo Shoes Path to Foot Health
It is easy to confuse “support” with everything that it is not. Some think that support means having something around the ankle, as in a boot, but leather alone (or a similar material) surrounding the ankle can certainly not support the weight of the body and manage pronation. Some define support as pulling the laces of a shoe tight over the instep to “hold” the foot in place, but that habit only creates bone spurs on the instep and hinders the elastic movement of the foot. Many confuse compression of the forefoot itself with support, which can only lead to bunions, hammertoes, metatarsalgia and nueromas. Many think that support means “arch support,” but longitudinal arch support is only one component of the true, full-contact, plantar support needed to redistribute the pressure of standing and walking.
While it is true, hypothetically, that human feet are well equipped to go through life barefoot, that is a process that has to begin in youth and continue throughout adulthood. I performed studies on the feet of those in certain countries who wear no shoes and who walk on undulating terrain. They are thick and muscular, much like the hands of individuals anywhere who perform manual labor. The plantar surface of their feet is protected by a layer of callous, approximately 2-3mm (1/8in.) thick. Their feet are functional machines and additional support is superfluous.
Why Do We Need Support?
Our American feet are feeble by comparison and do not have the strength necessary to maintain extensive barefoot walking for two main reasons: the cumulative effect of years of compressive footwear, discussed in the chapter before; and flat walking surfaces. Flat surfaces, such as the sidewalks, streets, parking lots and the work and retail spaces that we walk on, are the opposite of undulating terrain and are one of the greatest hazards to the foot. Flat surfaces force the feet to approach the ground in exactly the same way, step after step, year after year, thereby ‘loading’ pressure on the heel, lateral arch and the metatarsal heads. Undulating terrain offers a twofold benefit to the foot: it gives the foot the proper exercise it needs for longevity; and avoids pressure buildup in any one location on the bottom (plantar) surface of the foot by offering the foot and ankle constant variation with each step.
Therefore, if we are to walk on flat surfaces, we must include a mediator - the orthotic. The fundamental component of any orthotic is that it provides intermittent full contact with the entire plantar surface of your foot during the weight bearing phase of walking. This full contact is the real definition of support. The orthotic mimics the undulating ground and attenuates and distributes the body’s weight over the largest possible surface area of the foot.
Zócalo Shoes Euro-Pedorthic orthotics provide the answer by distributing the pressures of walking over the largest possible area, thereby giving you the best options for foot health.