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Step into the Past: The History of Orthotic Shoes

Shoes have been worn since the beginning of time to make walking more bearable. Early shoe designs dating back thousands of years show that appearance was just as important as comfort, if not more so. Footwear was initially considered a status symbol.

As shoes became more accessible to the general population, people demanded better comfort. Originally, there was no distinction between left or right shoes (this idea didn't catch on until the 1800s). Early innkeepers noticed that most weary travelers complained of foot pain. They began making insoles from matted animal hair retrieved from the local barn (later called felt).

Once upon a time, cobblers took the innkeeper's idea of comfy foot pads and ran with it. They started adding leather to the insides of shoes to create a more tailored fit and lo and behold, the first ever arch supports were born!

But, they were clunky and heavy.

Fast forward to the early 1900s and hello, electricity! With the newfangled bench grinders, cobblers could pump out arch supports faster and cheaper than ever before. Plus, they got smarter with lighter, softer materials that cranked up the comfy factor.

But, the real game-changer arrived in the 1960s when thermoplastics made an entrance. Medical pros started creating orthotics that could control the function of feet, legs, hips, back, and neck. The future was now!

Since the 1960s, the art of custom orthotic making has been continually enhanced so that today it is possible to build a device that can help correct foot deformities (such as bunions, flat feet, etc.) that cause typical aches and pains in the feet, legs, hips, back, and neck--the types of aches and pains people in all cultures and all parts of the world experience.

Custom orthotics are like eyeglasses in that they don't change your body, but instead assist you in performing at a higher level. If you don’t wear them, they don't help you. The same applies to custom orthotics. If you need them, they can greatly enhance your general comfort and well-being.

Bogers Shoes offer a full range of products for the consumer, from inexpensive insoles to completely custom foot orthotics designed to meet your every need. Don't forget to browse through our collection of orthotic shoes on our website,

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