Since 2007, Czech Footwear and Leather Association and the Thomas Bata University were members of international team set-up to develop innovations in the treatment of foot disorders in the cooperative research project INNOFOOT (Innovative Treatment of Foot Disorders).
The main goals of the project were:
1. to increase the competitiveness of the orthopaedic shoe sector by decreasing production costs
2. to realise a more controllable improved quality of care. The project aims at treatment of patients, design of products, innovative materials and cost reduction of production methods.
The projects results can be found on www.innofoot.eu
In the last work package WP7, we developed a training tool focused not only on education of academic students of shoemaking technology, but our aim was also to allow already established orthopaedic producers to access this tool to be able to broaden their knowledge in latest development in the shoemaking technologies, especially in production of orthopaedic footwear.
The training tool is free to be downloaded from this website. For easier download, it has been split into smaller parts:
It covers all technological steps and is focused more on the part of shoe assembly, because this part is not published in other publications. Information about basic shoemaking materials is displayed.
The chapters about upper preparation are not detailed, because deeper information is given in the design and manual shoemaking methods.
Deep focus on soling materials and materials with dampening effect are in two other separate chapters. One is focused more on the chemistry and the other on material testing and their selection.
Chapters focused on technological processes before shoe assembly give all main facts for decision making. Deep focus on industrial shoe assembly with specification, what kind of technological decision must be done at each individual operation.
All that should give information both to individual shoemakers and industrial producers.
Description of the basic shoemaking methods will give also idea about final properties of the shoes like flexibility, rigidity etc. These shoemaking methods are completed with quite detailed description of manual shoemaking process.
Deep information about lasts and last production in general, which continues with deeper information how to create individual last from the foot blueprint and foot measurements.
Detailed descriptions of the basic shoemaking designs - this chapter is important for the understanding and ability to create individual design for different foot disorders.
SECTION B - ORTHOPAEDIC SHOEMAKING
One of the key solutions is a selection of supportive dampening or any other special properties materials used mainly for the insoles.
A big problem in the orthopaedic field, which is not yet fully understood is that the materials loose their properties after short or long time of wear and there is not yet existing objective methodology how to decide, which material should be used for individual patiens.
Specialized testing methods are shown here together with the complete range of the different materials with their properties .
This chapter is completed with a link to the free access to KMS system, which will show to the interested readers, how to make decision.
Chapter about the examination of the human body just gives an overview about the complexity of the problem.
This should be also a subject of the specialized medical education and it is supported at the end of the book by the wide list of contacts to the almost all main companies offering specialized examination equipment.
Description of some selected disorders. For an orthopaedic shoemaking technician, it is important to be aware of some most common feet disorders. Here we give an introduction to hemiparesis, diabetes mellitus, some most frequent joint diseases and arthrosis deformations.
Examples of some solutions connected with individual patients and orthopaedic problems. Suggestions, how to deal with some specific orthopaedic problems, e.g. with Hallux valgus, Hallux rigidus, Pes planovalgus, Pes Cavovarus, Arthiritis, Polio, Pes equinovarus, Pes equinovarus adductus, pes calcaneus or pes planovalgus contractus.
Methods how to create individual customized last are very different to compare to lasts made in series. Custom lasts are made in pedorthotics for feet with or without abnormalities. In this chapter we will use the term 'custom last' to indicate a custom-made last for a healthy foot without abnormalities. We will use the term 'orthopaedic custom last' to indicate a custom-made last for a foot with abnormalities (in position and/or shape).
Methods, how to make the shoe adaptation in case of light orthopaedic problems. Adaptations to shoes are made precisely to create a better position of the foot, ankle, knee, hip or back in the case of problems, to relieve minor abnormalities of the foot, to reduce pressure pain, or improve walking quality.
Another way how to deal with light orthopaedic problems are footbeds or support soles. The main functions of a footbed and/or support sole are: to support the foot; to correct foot and/or ankle position abnormalities; to distribute the pressure; to relieve the pressure points; to render the ankle and foot stable; to make up for a minor difference in leg and/or foot length.
Chapter about supplements in case of more serious orthopaedic problems. A supplement is a custom-made footbed for orthopaedic footwear with an integrated rolling, amongst other things. The main functions of a supplement are the same as those of a footbed. A further function of the supplement is to improve mobility by means of a rolling.
An orthosis is a medical aid worn externally and attached to the body, the purpose of which is to support, stabilise, correct, relieve and/or immobilise. (A prosthesis is a medical aid on the body that replaces a body part). Strictly speaking, any shoe can be regarded as an orthosis within the confines of this definition. An orthosis can be used for: support; stabilisation; correction; immobilisation; relief.
During the INNOFOOT project, a new method for serial production of orthopaedic insoles has been developed. Here is a short description of the system.
SECTION C - FUTURE DEVELOPMENT IN THE ORTHOPAEDIC INDUSTRY
Especially for the academic students, it is important to know, where the future of orthopaedic industry may lead. One of the new ways could be use of active materials in orthopaedic footwear. Some first trials with these materials in shoes were made during the INNOFOOT project.
Another possible future development in the orthopaedic industry could be the use of "rapid manufacturing" methods, which are already being used in other industries. During the INNOFOOT projects, the partners tried to apply the printing process (one of rapid manufacturing methods) in shoe production. In this chapter, the results are described.
SECTION D - AMENDMENT
Quite a complete overview about different examination and measuring systems and this is supported by information about orthopaedic material suppliers.