Three Alaska women team up to create all new type of shoe
These days we need shoes to protect our feet from cold, injury, disease and simply pounding the pavement. But, finding a pair that fits just right has been a total nightmare for one Anchorage woman.
Laura Oden's feet fall outside the normal spectrum. She suffers from lymphedema, a chronic condition that swells her feet to different sizes.
She’s never been able find the perfect shoe so she says she invented one.
Oden and her two businesses partners, Celia Crossett and Ayla Rogers, have launched their own line of footwear called Pandere Shoes.
Oden says Pandere is Latin for stretch, expand and unfold.
Their goal was to create a shoe specifically for women with lower limb swelling.
“We have heard an incredible cry from the disenfranchised who do not have shoes to fit their feet,” Rogers said. “We've heard from different people who have different conditions that we weren't even aware of.”
It took Pandere’s founders two years to come up with their designs.
Their shoes adjust in three different areas and can expand up to 1.5 sizes.
“Our shoes are designed to expand in the place where a foot expands when it is swollen. The shoe expands over the top, around the toes, around the ankle,” Crossett said.
Pandere’s founders say more than 23 million women in the United States suffer from swollen feet caused by edema, diabetes, pregnancy, arthritis, and a host of other conditions-- and they want to help.
While expandable shoes already exist, Oden says they aren't attractive and don’t do the job as well.
“We know it’s going to be huge because there are so many people across the world that need shoes, and we know we can design pretty shoes and that's what people want. Men, women and children want attractive shoes that are comfortable, that expand in all the right places so that they don't have to feel marginalized anymore,” Oden said.
Pandere shoes is an Alaska-based company started by Alaskan women.
The business is still in the early stages but its founders hope to have a global customer base.
Since Pandere just reached its Kickstarter goal, production is expected to start in August.
Oden says each pair of shoes will cost about $120.
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