Aetrex Worldwide offers patient solutions with style. Two new lines launched in the fall of 2013 continue to expand the market for shoes that offer flexible fitting options for people with diabetes, arthritis, and other painful foot conditions, as well as uppers that are both comfortable and fashionable. Aetrex’s shoes for people with diabetes are A5500-verified to meet Therapeutic Shoe Bill requirements.
“Innovation is one of our core values and our constant commitment to patients and practitioners,” said Matt Schwartz, Aetrex executive vice president. “Whether it’s through new technology or materials, we’re always incorporating developments that bring new value to the end user.” The company, headquartered in Teaneck, NJ, is offering the two new lines through its Apex Footwear division, which is focused on healthcare channels of distribution.
Its Petals line is a new selection of women’s therapeutic shoes, while the T2000 line expands the company’s selection of stretchable shoes. The company markets both new lines through the website apexfoot.com, and through a number of distributors, practitioners, and durable medical equipment suppliers.
The Petals line, for painful feet and other conditions, comes with a slip-resistant EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) outsole and roomy, stylish uppers.
“One of the great features of outsoles made of injection-molded EVA is that they are not just slip-resistant, but incredibly lightweight,” Schwartz said. “We believe it’s the premium product line on the market when it comes to offering patient care and stylish options.”
Shoes in the Petals line are designated with women’s first names, including Charlotte, Donna, Evelyn, Karen, and Linda. They range in size from 5 to 13 and in widths from medium to extra wide and have two layers of removable depth. Shoes in the Petals line retail for $129.95.
“All the attention to detail in the line, whether it be the adjustability of the upper or the quality of the insoles, is designed to protect patients’ feet, help them avoid further setbacks, make them comfortable—and, at the same time, allow them to feel good about how they look while wearing the footwear,” Schwartz said. “Our primary goals are comprehensively considering the needs of patients and putting the required resources into delivering the highest quality in material and craftsmanship.”
The T2000, for men and women, is the newest addition to the company’s stretchable footwear offerings.
This shoe is designed to assist with many different foot conditions, including advanced pathologies. Aetrex recommends the T2000 line for patients with diabetes, arthritis, or swollen feet. It has a stretchable upper and is available in four widths, from medium to double extra wide.
“It can accommodate all kinds of foot shapes and deformities,” Schwartz said. “It protects the foot, and its stretchability, lack of inner seams, and three half-inch layers of removable depth all improve patient care.”
Shoes in the T2000 line retail for $99, are machine washable, and are available in men’s and women’s sizes from 4.5 to 16.
“The feedback on the shoe has been great,” Schwartz said. “We launched it for delivery in September, and the numbers have been really strong.”
Family heritage, global reach
Founded in 1946 by brothers Paul and Charles Schwartz, Aetrex has always been a family-owned company. In the 67 years since its inception, the company has grown into a global leader in pedorthic footwear and foot orthoses, with solutions for a wide range of foot conditions and foot types. “Apex is our heritage business,” said Schwartz, who leads the company along with his father, Richard (son of founder Paul Schwartz), and his two brothers, Larry and Evan.
A comprehensive program complements the Apex line, including custom-fabricated orthoses with conformable Plastazote top covers that ensure an ideal fit with the shoes to maximize patient compliance. The orthoses are PDAC (pricing, data analysis, and coding)-verified for A5513 to meet Medicare Therapeutic Shoe Bill requirements.
Also available is the Apex Rotating Display, which holds up to 40 footwear samples. The variety of styles and sizes featured on the compact displays helps ensure that patients are properly fitted the first time, reducing the potential for incorrect orders and unnecessary returns.
“We also continue our longstanding commitment to sponsoring educational programs,” Schwartz said, noting the company sponsors a number of live events each year and maintains the online foot health resource, foot.com. The website offers information and videos on a variety of foot-related topics, including various foot conditions as well as news items related to foot health.
What unifies the businesses within Aetrex, Schwartz said, “is the commitment to health, whether for consumer products or medical products. The brand is about delivering healthier alternatives to patients, practitioners, and other consumers.”
Larry Hand is a writer in Massachusetts.