Propét USA is marching into 2014 by expanding its line of comfort and therapeutic shoe styles. In collaboration with its first podiatric advisor, foot and ankle surgeon Harold Schoenhaus, DPM, Propét is offering a new line of sandals and flip flops featuring its new Rejuve Motion Technology, a stabilizing heel cup that minimizes pronation, as well as the Propét Preferred AdaptaStep, a recovery shoe with variable flexibility to promote healing and comfort after surgery or trauma.
“Propét has a long history in the comfort footwear category and a strong background in providing shoes for the therapeutic market,” said Schoenhaus, explaining why he began working with the company on the new product lines. “In addition, they are aggressively focused on growing their business through innovation and partnership. Their experience was a great match with my skills and expertise, and this partnership has allowed me to bring some game-changing ideas to life.”
The relationship with Schoenhaus began more than a year ago, said Propét USA Brand Manager Cecilia Lauerman. In podiatric medicine for more than 45 years, Schoenhaus, podiatric medical director at Penn Wound Care Center at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia, has experienced the evolution of both the profession and the development of foot products.
Shoes that incorporate Rejuve Motion Technology, a deep U-shaped heel cup and independent side flanges that stabilize the foot and support the arch, minimize pronation and associated symptoms, protecting not only the arches and ankles, but also the knees and hips, he said.
The technology is built into the sole system of Rejuve shoes and is biomechanically engineered to cup the heel bone and maintain its alignment relative to the leg and ground. The technology places the heel in an inverted position at heel strike so the foot can be controlled while allowing normal motion.
A closed version of the Rejuve shoe technology will be available in July for the fall selling season, Lauerman said.
Looking for such game-changing products is business owner and Propét client Alan Miklofsky, who is adding Rejuve sandals and flip flops to his four stores in Tucson, AZ. Customers have kept his business active since 1982 because of the brands of shoes he carries and the customer service he provides. This is why he is adding Rejuve, he said.
“We don’t buy shoes, we buy brands,” said the president and chief executive officer of Alan’s Shoe House. “We’d rather concentrate on fewer brands and do a better job with each brand we select for our stores. While we do just test a few brands, our selection of Rejuve is with the intent that it will play a meaningful role in our merchandise assortment.”
“We immediately recognized the design elements of Rejuve and made a purchase,” he said. “We believe these sandals and flip flops will have great support, excellent comfort, and will sell quickly. There is a lot to talk about the construction of this brand; we like the materials and colors represented, as well as the look and feel.”
The AdaptaStep recovery shoe features Propét’s Variable Flex Technology, which involves two sets of three removable rods that are inserted into the forefoot of the shoe and extend into the sole.
Clinicians can remove rods, varying the shoe’s flexibility—from rigid, to semiflexible, to flexible—as the patient recovers.
Schoenhaus said this shoe, designed to transition patients from the postoperative period to their regular shoes, helps return flexibility to the foot and sole, speeding recovery of normal gait.
The shoes are designed to reduce edema with large compression panels and Velcro closures that provide compression, but not constriction—a problem sometimes caused by the straps of other postoperative shoes, Schoenhaus said. The AdaptaStep, washable and lined with antimicrobial nanosilver, also helps reduce infection risks.
Customers for the AdaptaStep shoe will be podiatric surgeons, physical therapists, hospitals, and surgical centers, Lauerman said, noting that, in addition to aiding postoperative or post-traumatic recovery, the shoe, which provides offloading and can accommodate custom orthotic inserts, also may be used to assist with diabetic wound healing and is of interest to durable medical equipment suppliers.
View Schoenhaus in two videos—both under four minutes—on Propét’s website in which he explains the benefits of Rejuve shoes (propetusa.com/rejuve) and of the AdaptaStep recovery shoe (propetusa.com/adaptastep).
Propét USA opened its doors in Auburn, WA, in 1985, and became known for comfort shoes in a variety of sizes and widths, Lauerman said. Those include the TravelWalker collection and the company’s Preferred line of therapeutic footcare products.
“These new product lines will take Propét to the next level in the footcare market,” Lauerman said, “and will be a big focus of our business moving forward.”
Andria Segedy is a freelance writer in Huntsville, AL.