Taking measurements, the prototype shoes and the final orthopaedic shoes.
The customer -a Mexican woman- within the following series of photographs has a progressive disease in the spinal cord that affected the muscles of the leg. They are to weak to lift her feet and because of the weak quadriceps she is not able anymore to control her left knee. To compensate the reduced control the knee is over-stretched. Calf high completely rigid boots keep the ankle joints in a stable position and prevent the feet from "dropping".

The different stages from taking measurements until the delivery of the final shoes are shown by the following series of photographs.

Taking measurements.
The muscular functioning is tested on several levels. Here we check the peroneus muscle activity.

Taking footprints.

The footprint.

Taking measurements referring to fixed points. Here the circumference of the heel/instep is being measured.

Taking the casts and checking the lasts.
Casts, negatives of the foot and leg, are the bases for the last. A last is an abstract model of the foot.

Once the foot and lower leg are put in a cast, they are put into their right position in accordance with the heel height and lateral corrections. If possible, the customer must be in a standing position, while the cast is hardening.

To be sure that this corrected position will be reflected in the lasts and later on in the boots, the position lines are drawn on the cast. One over the center/backside of the foot and leg, the other over the outside ankle and lower leg. These lines are perpendicular to the base.

Here you see a transparent negative of the last, to check its proportions.

In certain cases we take this extra step, for example, if the customer suffers from loss of sensibility or serious circulation problems. For these cases we want to reduce the risks of skin damage that can be caused by lack of room or too much room to a minimum. A transparent testing "shoe" provides the necessary information to prevent such complications.

The basic device, the test.
In this photograph the fit of the prototype boots and the design of the actual boots are being checked. At the same time, certain details about the boots are explained, so that their functionality is clear to the customer. Generally prototype shoes have all features that are required to obtain the right walking pattern, like supports, rocker soles, heels and soles. At this stage it's still easy to modify the shoes if the walking pattern is not right. Note that the prototype shoes are only for testing. They do not have the nice upper leather and solid soles and heels.

Test-walking with the prototype shoes.
To be sure that the shoes perform well during his or her daily activities, the customer uses them half to one week.

The actual boots.
The customer opted for a classic model with hooks and rings which makes it more easy to put them on and to lace them up. To get more sideward stability the heels are wide and a wear-resistant antiskid sole prevents the client from slipping away.

Breaking in new shoes.

Customer and orthopedic shoemaker discuss the functionality and the esthetic aspects of the shoes.

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