Pedors is the creation of brothers John and Stephen O’Hare. In the fall of 1995 the two Englishmen decided to embark on the journey of starting an orthopedic shoe company. The company would use the latest developments in material technology to manufacture affordable orthopedic footwear solutions for people with problem feet. Shoes that would fit as well as a custom shoe but at an "off the shelf" price.
The brothers came up with the name "Pedors" which encapsulates the very essence of the company, a company that provides Pedorthic Orthopedic Solutions.
The original concept of what Pedors Shoes should be is still its core value today. A Pedors shoe should be able to accommodate the most demanding foot. The brothers saw custom, clunky, expensive leather shoes as too old fashioned that did not fully utilize the myriad of materials available to shoe manufacturers at the time.
In April of 1997 Pedors launched the 600 and 601 Classic, (black and beige respectively). This shoe revolutionized the orthopedic shoe world in that central to its construction was a forefoot made entirely of neoprene. This seamless neoprene forefoot allowed the shoe to stretch in any direction that a deformed foot required. The shoe was also lightweight, machine washable, affordable and featured removable insoles to accommodate custom orthotics. Almost immediately the shoe was being fitted by foot care professionals regularly to patients with arthritis, diabetes, corns, bunions, hammertoes, edema as well as other pathologies. The Classic sold well into the hundreds of thousands of pairs over the ensuing decade, with improvements made as developments in material technologies and manufacturing techniques evolved.
The company soon realized that these foot care professionals were on the front line so to speak, dealing with problem feet on a daily basis. Pedorthists, Podiatrists and Orthotic & Prosthetic practitioners became the company's de facto R&D department and based on their feedback and suggestions, other shoe lines were developed and the company evolved and grew organically. Pedors became "The Pedorthic Shoe Company" thanks to the support of the Pedorthic community in particular.
Today, Pedors continues to strive to bring innovative footwear solutions for people with problem feet. The company recently won an award from the Pedorthic community in recognition of our efforts.
Other Pedors notable milestones include:
Hot on the heels of the success of the 600 and 601 Pedors launched a triple density, full contact, heat moldable insert that could be used in conjunction with the 600 series shoes. Easily modifiable, durable and yet comfortable, packs of the three pairs of these inserts start flying out the door at almost the same rate as the shoes. Pedors hits another home run.
A lace-up version of the wildly successful 600 series shoe is introduced and is whimsically named after the man who very graciously helped design it, Mr. Rick Overman.
Navy and white versions are added to the shoe line to much fanfare. Unfortunately, it was to be short- lived. The white shoes started to yellow soon after leaving the factory, and with the decline of the disco revival, the rather electric navy shoes soon fell out of favor. Their fate was sealed and both were discontinued the following year.
An impassioned phone call from a customer, Andrea Olinger, lead to the creation of weEBors. Andrea desired a children's version of our adult 600 shoe for her daughter, Taylor, who was suffering with Epidermolysis Bullosa. Since then, thanks to the help of DEBRA, parents with children suffering from Epidermolysis Bullosa have contacted Pedors from around the world and we have been proud to help wherever we can. The Pedors E.B. program is the official company charity.
Lightweight, machine-washable and with timeless lines the Pedors Stretch clogs have always been very popular with beach-goers as well as pool dwellers, just not with Mrs. O’Hare, the boys’ mother.
A short lived foray into the mystical realm of magnetism provided the field for the Pedors Magnazote Inserts to be developed. To the relief of John O’Hare, not known for liking “all that kind of malarkey” one customer bought the entire inventory of Magnazotes at the end of 2002. The brothers decided not to reinvest in the line.
Certainly the most ambitious of “shoe” projects the company has undertaken to date. The Tothonator was designed by renowned Pedorthist, innovator and all around good guy, Bob Toth. The fundamental design aspect of the Tothonator was the ability of the Pedorthist to reshape the sole of the shoe on a patient by patient basis, as needed. In fact, we didn’t even ship the shoe to the Pedorthists “complete”. The sole plate was separate from the modifiable mid-sole. Ambitious, forward thinking, innovative? YES! Popular? No! Another one bites the dust.
OK, so now it was time to make a shoe line that looked “like normal shoes”. What our little shoe company needed however was a timeless classic women’s line that we could sell over and over again throughout the ages. So we improved upon the classic “Mary Jane”. This beloved style of shoe has been worn by just about every woman at some point and by a few men too. We once again incorporated our seamless stretch forefoot into the design and away Mary Jane walked. Still in production today, the Pedors Mary Jane has undergone some revisions and is about to have another face-lift in 2010. Well, the style has been around for over 100 years so a facelift is probably needed.
We introduced some seamless dress and active socks. Some are to be worn for dressy occasions, some for active occasions. You get the idea.
All leather loafers with just a hint of stretch in the right places make easy comfort for our glamour girl customers. The Vienna for those blessed with bunions, and the Monaco for those hampered by hammertoes. Mrs. O’Hare’s friends love ‘em.
These socks offer varying degrees of compression. See, you’re getting the hang of this.
If Michael Jordan was to wear shoes...well, he’d probably wear his own Nikes but if he wore Pedors, he’d wear these. These dual-strap high-top boot offer stability with lightweight comfort. Ideal for wheelchair bound people too.
We all know the saying, “If it ‘aint broke then don’t fix it”. Well we didn’t listen and went ahead and revised the very successful Mary Jane because we wanted it to be more aesthetically pleasing. In so doing we changed the profile of the sole to be more “modern”. Almost all preferred the profile of the original MJ but loved the quality, leather and proportion of this new Mary Jane. It will take three years for us to be able to rectify this rookie mistake.
In what was to be a ridiculously busy year for product launches, we kicked it all off with the Stretch Walker line. Deep is the word for these suckers. Coupled with a partial stretch vamp the athletic styled walkers offer more space than Carl Sagan.
Expanding the Vienna line with two extra colors, beige and brown.
Utilizing a dual strap and rocker sole on the now exalted 600 shoe line the Rocker Walker attempted to bridge the gap between offering the ambulatory benefits of a rocker shoe and jumping, somewhat wobbly, onto the “rocker sole” bandwagon. Surprisingly, after a slow start, sales are climbing for this wobbly wonder.
Dual density, heat moldable inserts are designed to be used in our less-deep shoes. Much to our satisfaction, practitioners snap up our 2P inserts for use in our competitor’s shoes. Hey, we don’t do those expensive leather shoes so if they use a competitor at least we can make the shoe comfortable for the patient.
Fed up of being told at trade-shows that the 600 shoe was not wide enough for some patients, National Sales Director, Russell McMillan storms into the office of John O’Hare and tells him to instruct the factory to make the T2RW on the 600 sole in a super wide 6E width. And then he stormed off again, into a storm. Duly instructed, the brothers O’Hare acquiesce to his request and the 600 Maxx 6E closely followed by the 600 Max 4E become an instant success. Russell is a hero and takes to wearing a cape at work.
This time we sent the production samples out to our venerated distributors and Pedorthists. “It’s a hit” they all yelled in unison. It has taken us a while, but this is one MJ we all love and we promise, no more tweaking with it, (well, not for now anyway).
The sister to 6E and 4E, the 2E was born. A bridge between the original Classic and the wider Max widths, the 2E works particularly well for people needing to wear a brace or AFO. After Elizabeth had her first baby, Lauren her second and now Elizabeth expecting her second, we decided to get a new water cooler. A great year for the extended Pedors family.