Orthopaedic technician: This is the sole that the entire running shoe industry should focus on
”The shoes [on the market] today are very good — it’s the inside that needs to be upgraded,” says Peter Hedström.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
October 18, 2022
If you ask Peter Hedström, who’s worked as an orthopaedic technician for 35 years mainly focusing on athletes and their injuries with the goal to reduce overload injuries, it’s time to look down at your feet.
— They take a load of 7-8 ton trucks every day. They are amazing, give them love! My biggest passion is biomechanics, which includes how muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments work together to produce movement, he says.
Five years ago, he was contacted by entrepreneur Stina Andersson, who wanted to know if women could wear high heels without discomfort and injuries.
— I saw this as a challenge and during these years we have developed two world patents, one for high heels and one for flats.
”Seven out of ten have an increased need for help with shock absorption and stability”
Together, you work with Stinaa. J, a Stockholm-based shoe brand which claims to use ’world-leading orthopaedic innovation’. How?
— During all these years, our orthopaedic team has collected millions of scans of people’s feet which has been the foundation of our orthopaedic insoles and world patents. This together with using materials from the space industry has been the perfect recipe for our insoles. The foot is dynamic and many times it needs help to function naturally. Our 5-bar system ensures that the foot regains its original shape. In addition, we believe in motion control — the foot’s shock absorption is one thing and movement patterns are another. Approximately 60% of the population in Sweden are flat-footed, 10% have a high arch and 30% have a normal arch. This means that seven out of ten have an increased need for help with shock absorption and stability.
When you think of orthopaedic shoes, most of them don’t look particularly good.
— No, this is the challenge and what we’re working towards; creating beautiful shoes that treat you while not being visibly ’medical shoes’ that the foot, knee, hips, and back are aligned. The shoes [on the market] today are very good, but it’s the inside that needs to be upgraded. The running shoe as a shoe is the most innovative in the industry and other industries should follow their lead, that is safety, work, dress, or leisure shoes.
Speaking of running shoes, Stinaa. J just launched their first own.
— I do believe that the development of running shoes has been fantastic for many years. They have great material choice and selection, but there is a big part missing — many of them have a generic sole. This means that the insole has not followed the same development as the outer part of the shoe. Therefore, we created a running shoe where the focus was the orthopaedic insole. We developed it from the inside out. The whole shoe has the same function and purpose as the orthopaedic insole in terms of stability, relief, and shock absorption. For example, the midsole has a shock-absorbing effect, and our so-called Motion Control bridge provides stability no matter what foot shape you have.
What’s next for you?
— Right now we see an increased demand for sports and exercise. But at the same time, the common denominator is people who walk, stand or run on hard surfaces — this is where the need for our product is increasing and why we are focusing even more on product development than before, Hedström concludes.