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The Healthy Footwear Guide
Cosyfeet are members of the Healthy Footwear Guide, a collaboration between UK footwear brands and foot health professionals. It aims to highlight the importance of wearing healthy, comfortable footwear.
What are the criteria that a shoe must meet in order to be approved by the Healthy Footwear Guide?
- Toe box allows normal foot function for the individual.
- Adequate width and depth achievable for wearer’s foot function.
- Sole does not interfere with normal foot function.
- Shoe must not noticeably slip on the foot.
- Availability of product advice and support.
- Outsole grip meets SATRA standards.
- Sole should have a raised tread pattern on heel and sole with a leading edge in many directions. In other words, a crosshatch, or similar, design. Tread pattern should extend over whole sole and heel area. Sole should have a flat, flexible bottom construction. Consider a low-density midsole that conforms to the ground and maximises contact area. A square heel breast (acts as leading edge) is recommended as opposed to a round edge.
- Softness and flexibility of upper and lining surfaces of shoe.
- Stable heel of suitable block height of approximately 25mm.
- In-shoe climate that promotes a healthy environment within the shoe.
- Shoe provides reasonable cosseting of vulnerable areas of the foot.
- Shoe retains its fitness for purpose for a reasonable period of time.
How does Cosyfeet consider the Healthy Footwear Guide criteria during their shoe design process?
One of the aims of the Healthy Footwear Guide is to encourage shoemakers to consider the health of their customers’ feet when designing their products. Footwear can have a significant effect on foot health and general well-being, so they want to encourage companies to manufacture footwear with features that offer people a comfortable and secure environment for the foot.
At Cosyfeet, we welcome the guidelines as we are committed to producing healthy footwear for people with extra wide and swollen feet and we’re proud to display the Healthy Footwear logo on our shoes which have passed their criteria.
To qualify as ‘healthy footwear’ a shoe must meet eleven criteria including heel stability and height, softness and flexibility and adequate width and depth. Good shoemaking is in our DNA, so the criteria set out by the Healthy Footwear Guide is already an integral part of many of our styles. Attention to design along with premium materials and advanced foot comfort technology ensure that we can offer comfortable, healthy shoes to all our customers.
One of the criterions for healthy footwear is that the toe box should allow normal foot function for the individual. We have a set standard for toe depth which accommodates and allows for the natural movement of toes. On certain styles, we offer even more toe depth to allow for problems such as claw, hammer or mallet toes. Our toe boxes are protected by a toe puff, so they don’t collapse whilst in wear.
The Healthy Footwear Guide states that there must be adequate width and depth achievable for wearer’s foot function. Our footwear is specially designed to fit people with very wide or swollen feet so we offer a very wide, deep and roomy fitting with fastenings that can be adjusted to fit a range of swelling. To ensure that our footwear still looks attractive, many of our styles have ‘hidden depth.’ The sole unit on our ‘hidden depth’ footwear allows the foot to sit below the sole line. This means that the extra depth is hidden in the shoe so that it still looks neat and streamlined.
In keeping with the Healthy Footwear Guide, we recognise that fit and comfort are the most important aspects of any footwear, so we ensure that we have padding in the right places to help the foot stay in place and we use stiffeners which gives support around the heel and ankle. Our back parts won’t break down and they have the ability to move with the foot without causing it to slip.
Our soles are flexible, and we use soft material which bends and flexes, helping to keep the foot in place. They also give a degree of shock-absorption. This ensures that energy is absorbed by the insole during every foot strike, which takes some of the pressure off the joints and soft tissues of the body.
Our tread patterns are carefully designed to make sure that there is sufficient grip to avoid slipping. At the same time, we ensure that they are not too grippy as this could cause problems for our less active customers. All our soles are tested on different surfaces for grip, flex and breakages.
We ensure that our shoes have the correct levels of softness and flexibility and cushioning between the upper and lining. We also choose leathers which are good quality, so they tend to be softer and flex with the foot which is very important for the comfort of the shoe. Our shoes are designed to be hardwearing and long lasting, which is another reason for choosing high-quality materials, and our ‘No Quibble Money Back Guarantee’ is testament to the faith that we have in their durability.
For a shoe to be approved by the Healthy Footwear Guide, the in-shoe climate must provide a healthy environment for the foot. To ensure we meet the criterion, we use materials that are breathable and in many of our shoes we have Sanitized® insoles which hinder the reproduction of bacteria. This stops unpleasant odours from developing and provides long-lasting freshness. We also use minimal seaming as much as possible and keep seams away from vulnerable areas of the foot.
Click here to find out more about why Cosyfeet is a member of the Healthy Footwear Guide.