Footwear Industry estimates indicate that some 20,000 new footwear design fashions are introduced each year. However, all these designs are variations of the seven basic footwear styles: the clog, mule, moccasin, pump, sandal, boot and oxford. There have been no new basic footwear styles in over three hundred years.
A style is something basic and fundamental. A fashion is fleeting, morphing with the culture and the ever-changing whims of designers and marketers. Thus, with the focus on the creation of thousands of fashions for only seven basic styles of shoes, there have been only relatively minor advances in the most basic elements of footwear, namely fit and support, the two features that together make for foot comfort.
But all is changed now. An exponential leap in the fitting of shoes has occurred with the recent advent of a revolutionary, patented closure system, fittingly called “FIT SQUARED” (FIT2). The company which owns and is developing and marketing this unique fastening system is FIT SQUARED SHOES, LLC, based in San Antonio, Texas, a city known for shoe innovation in the past (western boots, San Antonio Shoe Company (SAS), the two-laced/split-vamp Kaepa shoe).
All FIT2 shoes will feature its closure system on variations of basic styles. The first FIT2 product, the “BUNGEE,” a women’s walking shoe, has a flexible forefoot, secure heel counter, midfoot stability, cushioned PU sock liners, lightweight breathable mesh with foam, and lightweight EVA molded insoles, all of which, together, are desired features of most types of quality footwear. These attributes alone would make this shoe worthy of purchase consideration.
What differentiates the FIT2 shoe from all others is its fascinating, patented, “One Pull” closure system. This unique fastening system offers major advantages over every other closure system ever devised and is certainly superior to one-dimensional footwear closure systems.
As a longtime practitioner of Podiatric medicine, I was pleased to discover a closure system which, although created for general usage and geared to supplant the use of shoelaces and hook-and-loop straps, is extraordinarily ideal for my patients, including those who have reduced mobility, as well as for those for whom optimal comfort, fit, support, and safety are paramount. Many of our geriatric patients, as well as those with mobility challenges, are often reduced to wearing simple slip-on footwear or hook-and-loop-fastened footwear, both of which score low on the desirable traits of support and safety, not to speak of the resultant discomfort.
THE MAJOR BENEFITS OF THE ONE-PULL CLOSURE SYSTEM:
• VARIABLE ARCH SUPPORT – Optimal arch support is foundational for foot comfort for everyone, as well as a treatment for various maladies of the feet, legs and lower back. Until now, such support usually required a custom-made orthotic or arch support. The midfoot placement of a vertical attachment loop in the FIT SQUARED system automatically causes conforming support to the medial longitudinal arch, whether the user has a low, medium or high arch. FIT2 is a self-adjusting system.
• LATERAL COLUMN SUPPORT – The FIT2 fastening system also supports the outside (lateral) part of the foot, which is unheard of in the footwear industry except for certain custom-made shoes and devices. The ‘cuboid loop’ (as I call it) acts to stabilize what is called the lateral column of the foot during foot propulsion or push off. Instability of this box-shaped bone causes considerable discomfort to the outside of the midfoot, especially for those who walk or run for exercise.
• COUNTER ADJUSTMENT – The counter is that part of the shoe that wraps around the heel of the foot. It is well known in Podiatric Biomechanics (the science of foot motion during gait) that the stabilizing effect of the heel counter is integral to proper foot function during gait. The cradling effect of the FIT2 fastening system assures optimal individual counter-support. In other shoes, this is a hit-and-miss proposition.
• ACCOMMODATES FOR DIFFERENCES IN FEET – The feet of most people are not of identical proportions, shape, size or functional character. The FIT2 closure system essentially accommodates for these differences with one simple tug as the closure system automatically adjusts for these differences in size and shape.
• INDEPENDENCE – The One-Pull fastening system gives many of our patients the option to wear and adjust a safe, supportive, comfortable and stylish shoe without the need for the assistance of a caregiver. This is a wonderful asset for those who want to retain their independence and DIY. (Parents will find this system encourages self-sufficiency in their children.)
In my professional medical opinion, the FIT2 CLOSURE SYSTEM is a significant advance in shoe technology, an improvement that leads to greater comfort because of the fit, support, safety and independence it brings. It is a real advance in the science and art of footwear. As more styles of FIT2 shoes are produced for women, men, and children, I look forward to wearing FIT2 shoes and will be pleased to recommend them to my patients, friends, and fellow athletes. The FIT2 fastening system makes a positive difference for all.
Dr. Larry A. Czelusta, DPM, PT www.NortheastFootCenter.com
30+ years of practice in Sports and Family Podiatry and Physical Therapy.
PRINCIPAL ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENTS:
• Five-time National Duathlon Champion
• International Triathlon Union World Champion Duathlete
• Texas State Road Race Champion
• Awarded a Fellowship by the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine