Any sports person will tell you staying fit and keeping in good shape is paramount – but actually, finding what works for you needs to be a top priority, not just in sport but in everyday life.Since 1993, OrthoSole Co-Inventor and Co-Founder Ronnie Irani has been developing custom-built orthotics. As a result of wearing his own creations, he has felt a huge difference, not only in his sport, but in his day-to-day life.
Identifying a gap in the market for affordable custom insoles
When playing professional cricket for Essex and England, Ronnie travelled to Germany to visit top podiatrist (and seventh generation orthopaedic shoemaker) Martin Trautmann. Bowled over by the results, Ronnie quickly encouraged others to go and see for themselves the benefits that good orthotics can provide to anyone who is regularly active.As Ronnie and Martin became firm friends, Ronnie shared his vision of an orthotic insole that could be used universally to help as many people as possible – at a fraction of the cost of a custom orthotic. Inspiration struck, and Martin found a solution. However, as Martin was extremely busy with his own practice and a long list of clients, he couldn’t invest the time and resources into such a big project. Ronnie stepped in along with his business partners in the USA to take the reins and enlisted the support of one of the best biomechanics teams in the world at the time in Portland, Oregon – and so work began on developing the OrthoSole products we now know and love.
Developing the OrthoSole concept
During this design and development, OrthoSole became a registered trademark, and the technology was registered for global patents. To date, patents have been confirmed (some still pending) all around the world, including Austria, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, UAE, United Kingdom (Great Britain) and the United States of America.This process has taken many years and still continues.Once the technology had been married with a unique design concept, we searched all over the globe for the best possible materials to use within our products, eventually settling on Poron ® Performance Cushioning.Martin, Ronnie, the USA partners and the biomechanics team then spent over a year constantly testing and editing the product until they were happy for its release to the masses.
Breaking into the global market
We knew from the start that our products needed to undergo a ‘real world’ evaluation to see how they met the demands of the everyday consumer. We launched a soft introduction within sports goods stores podiatry and physiotherapy practices to gain valuable feedback on product quality and design. After the first few years of sales, we took all comments on board and created our Thin Style and ¾ length designs, which were developed to fit more comfortably into tighter fitting shoes.After many rounds of evaluating OrthoSole, the UK sales team finally approached some of the serious players in health and sport to secure wider distribution deals. Now, the brand is associated with some of the biggest companies in the industry along with global distributors.But despite OrthoSole’s continued growth and success, Ronnie and his staff have never lost sight of the important part that independent stockists and retailers play in raising awareness of the benefits of these unique products.
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