Bespoke Shoes Unlaced – a shoemaker's blog

Friday, 6 March 2015

2015 Independent Shoemakers' Conference Part 2 - Foot Whispering

In part 2 of our Shoemakers' Conference highlights, orthopaedic shoemaker Martin Kistner explained why his approach to people, feet and shoes always starts with a bit of 'foot whispering'. 

Not as bananas as it sounds, it is his name for the way that he examines certain important muscles and ligaments in the feet and lower leg - the supinator and pronator muscles...or stirrup muscles. By identifying and addressing weaknesses in this support system for the foot Martin can better help his customers with their orthopaedic problems.

This year we got to try out his method for ourselves...

Kate and Bill Bird with Sebastian Tarek
...but first we needed volunteers, ideally with hip or knee problems. In our group, Sebastian Tarek jumped at the chance to be the 'guinea pig' with a persistent knee problem. 

Working on his bear feet, Martin showed us where to press and prod to assess the strength of Sebastian's feet and scored the discomfort at each place from 1-10.

Helpfully, he used a pen to draw marks on Sebastian's feet, so that we could be accurate pressing and prodding where Martin advised us. 

Orthopaedic shoemaker, bio mechanics specialist and all-together-foot-maestro Bill Bird was first in and soon had Sebastian wincing where a weakness had been identified.

Never one to be put off by bare feet, I couldn't resist having a go and Martin's guidance was impressively accurate.

Martin then came back to advise what would help Sebastian's knee...a pad to support the tendon under the foot. He went away determined to try it. We will try to get an update on how it worked for next week's post.

And finally, here's a little taster of exciting changes afoot in our shoemaking world - watch this space....literally! 


Until next week, happy shoemaking!