People have foot problems the world over, but these differ quite distinctly from country to country – and Sara Boardman, principal podiatrist at PodoFit in St Andrews, got to see this for herself when she travelled to Abu Dhabi for an international exhibition attended by 120,000 pairs of feet!
Sara was invited by Al Mandoos, a respected producer of traditional, hand-made Emirati footwear, which was launching its range of custom-fit sandals, with footbeds conforming exactly to the wearer’s feet, ensuring the best support and control when standing and walking.
Sara said: “It was interesting to discover that over 95 per cent of the people who came to see us presented with flat feet. This seems to be due to inherent foot type, which is exacerbated by wearing sandals from a young age. Common symptoms included plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, knee pain and back pain. Custom-fitted sandals which provide arch support can help to prevent these conditions
She added: “What was surprising was the very small incidence of bunions!”
PodoFit uses an American CAD/CAM system for scanning patients’ feet and manufacturing custom orthotic insoles.
“We have 10 years’ experience with the AMFIT system and we also specialise in footwear fitting,” said Sara. “We believe that this system is perfect for Al Mandoos’ use as part of bespoke footwear manufacture.”
The launch of the sandal was very well attended and received orders from members of several of the Gulf state royal families.
Sara said: “When the ruler of Abu Dhabi appeared, I was somewhat overwhelmed by the entourage and TV camera crew – it was quite an experience!”