Hypiont waterjet technology is key to healthier to soles
Turning concepts upside down and inside out to make a better, healthier product is what OESH is all about. The Charlottesville, Virginia company has revolutionized shoe manufacturing by designing a responsive sole integrated with the rest of the shoe in a unique way that ensures the foot always encounters a perfectly level surface. OESH shoes, the brainchild of Dr. D. Casey Kerrigan, are designed to utilize highly innovative midsoles to maximize health. Kerrigan, a Harvard University-trained physical rehabilitation doctor with additional training in mechanical engineering and biomechanics, understands that creating shoes for optimal comfort and health is all about creating true compliance under the foot while following a foot’s natural position. “Most shoe designs try to control or correct the foot, and that can actually do more harm than good,” says Kerrigan. Traditional athletic and comfort shoes have midsoles made of foam, gels or air-filled bladders. These soles are designed to cushion against forces at impact, when the foot first strikes the ground. But biomechanical studies have revealed that the forces through the joints are actually greater later in a person’s gait, when the foot is fully planted, and that attempting to reduce impact force with cushioning actually increases joint stress. Other design factors shown to increase joint torques are a raised heel, arch support and substantial side to side curvature, all of which are common in most comfort and athletic footwear. Despite research discoveries showing they were not optimal for human biomechanics, these design factors were not changed because they were deeply embedded in the shoe manufacturing process. Armed with over 20 years of human gait research and analysis, Dr. Kerrigan set out to turn shoe manufacturing upside down, starting with the sole. Unlike other footwear, the soles in OESH shoes flex and respond when the foot is fully planted. This is the point when ground reaction force is greatest and the body is most vulnerable to injury. The OESH sole is completely flat, not just in the heel to toe direction, but side to side as well. And because the materials in the OESH midsole consistently respond to a person’s body weight with every step, they last much longer than midsoles made of foam which wear down very quickly. Kerrigan took the word “shoe” and turned it upside down and inside out to create the OESH name. She launched the shoe line from a factory in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2011 and OESH soon found itself swamped with thousands of orders from women who were tired of their legs and feet hurting. While her research and medical training led to the OESH concept, her engineering skills gave her the know-how to design and build the refined equipment that helps make the revolutionary line of OESH footwear.