Courageous Conversations: The Magic of a New Pair of Shoes


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As we continue our Courageous Conversations on self- help, it’s important to include older generations in this discussion.

While the fitness industry may market to younger, more fit, populations, KOLR10’s Lauren Barnas found that other demographics can benefit from new, health-related technology as well.

It’s the magic of a new pair of shoes, that the owner of Fleet Feet in Springfield, Eric Johnson, set out on a journey to provide customers.

“We get walkers, a lot of runners, and a lot of people with foot pain,” Johnson said. “Our most popular doctor-referred shoes is the HOKA. They’re very cushy and very comfortable if you’re on hard surfaces.”

And now, with the help of new technology, you can find your match, or rip a page from a Disney classic, and let the magic slipper, find you.

“With our new 3D scanner, we can get the shape of the foot in about five seconds,” Johnson said. “And it gives us a little bit more information, when we go to the shoe wall, as fitters, we can make better more efficient choices so you’re only trying on say three or four shoes.”

Mercy Dr. James Rogers stresses the importance of moving. And if a new pair of shoes is what it takes, he says that’s a step in the right direction.

“If I exercise regularly, I’ll be able to be active for years to come,” Rogers said. “So the rewards of a good exercise program, is you get activity as a by-product of that.”

In the last decade, Johnson says the technology has changed a lot. The company used to film customers running on a treadmill, but the 3D scanner has revolutionized the way they do business, and it’s all happened in the last year.

“Foot shape is really crucial. If you have a wide foot and I put you in a narrow shoe, we’re going to have some problems,” Johnson said. “Or if you already have some foot numbness and if I get you in a wide toe box and a wider shoe, you’re going to feel a lot better very quickly.”

Fleet feet shoes range from $100 to $200 in price. And in 2019, even newer technology will allow the data scanned into the iPad to be sent straight to the shoe company, which can make a completely customized fit. Direct access to the people he treats is something Dr. Rogers is looking forward to as well, as the fitness industry progresses.

“I find that most of them will look at setting a goal, and they’ll continue to push to achieve that goal,” Dr. Rogers said. “Did I get my steps in today? I think the next generation, when the trackers start letting us set what the goal should be… that would be a benefit.”

Because if the shoe fits, it truly can be magical.

“A couple months ago we had a military veteran come in, and he has stepped on an IED, and so he hadn’t walked a step without pain in years,” Johnson said. “Putting him the right shoe, he actually started crying.”

The latest version of the Apple Watch will alert users of seriously high or low heart rates, and heart irregularities. Apple also says the Series 4 can detect when someone has fallen, and place an emergency call after 60 seconds of no response.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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