We’re living in an era where approximately 7.5% of the global population (577 million) suffer from chronic back pain. For me, as a back pain specialist, this is no surprise. However, for the last 10 years of treating back pain, I’ve seen steady but significant growth in people suffering, which I didn't expect.
I became obsessed and started sifting through the research over many long nights after work and what became apparent is that we’re leading more sedentary lifestyles, starting at an increasingly younger age. Younger generations have higher lordotic curvatures than previous generations. Almost 40% of children nowadays have poor posture, 32% have an increased lumbar lordosis and almost 34% have a posture in knee hyperextension.
It got me thinking. Firstly, we clearly need to inspire more kids to move more and keep them moving and secondly, we need a better way to help people reduce their risk of back pain.
I started doing research, I looked at current posture products on the market, from alarms that beep when you're sloughed to jackets that keep you upright at all times (not very dignified). While these have merit, they all felt a little impractical. We needed something that fits into the lives of millions with ease.
This was when I started my journey with footwear. I knew that changes in the feet and knees transformed posture but I didn't quite know how to take this out of the lab in a practical way. I started experimenting with different sole elevations to understand how the different geometries impacted posture.
After months of rigorous testing, I had the right specifications. An elevation that users wouldn’t notice, but would have a profound effect on their posture.
It's quite incredible to see. As soon as someone stood on the prototype, their posture transforms. Their back morphs from an S shape into a J shape. Check out the video.
This was a breakthrough, but now I had to turn this into a real shoe, one that worked but also one that people wanted to wear.
All I can say, it was a process I wasn't prepared for. During a two-year development phase, I kept identifying opportunities to improve the shoe, from adding a wider toe box to a single stitch construction. Everything became critical. I needed this shoe not just to be good but to change people's lives.
After two years of refinement, I'm here. I've created something groundbreaking, something that will truly change people's lives and help to strengthen and protect posture. But this is just the start.