Flowers, food, feet, & more
"Our basic premise is that people come to a Foot Solutions store because they're looking for a solution for their feet," says Michael Bell, who with his wife, Dana, just opened a Foot Solutions franchise in the shopping strip in front of Quality 16 theaters.
Michael Bell discovered shoe ergonomics while working in a ski shop in Colorado, when he found he had a genius for fitting ski boots. Now he's a board-certified pedorthist-that is, someone who can make doctor-prescribed shoe inserts. While that may sound like a niche business, pedorthists don't see it that way. "Most everyone can use an insole, whether it's an accommodative insole or a functional insole," he says. "Accommodative" is pedorthist-speak for something, usually bought off the rack, that makes you more comfortable, as opposed to the functional insole that helps the foot move differently-those are mostly doctor-prescribed.
A visit to Foot Solutions most likely begins with a free thirty-to-forty-five minute assessment of your foot situation. You'll be questionnaired, measured, palpated, and finally escorted to an electronic scanner that eventually coughs up a colorful array of graphs, charts, and images-yours to keep-indicating where your feet and gait fall short of the ideal.
Though the 250-store chain aims to provide one-stop shopping for any foot problems, what it looks like is a shoe store. The shoes on display are mostly sandals and walking shoes in a chunky, healthful, wholesome style. All can accommodate orthotics-even the gorgeously elegant made-to-order Tower & Johnson men's dress shoes.