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Program Requirements to Advance the Technology of Custom Footwear Manufacturing



Howard T. Moncarz


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) co-hosted the first Custom Footwear Manufacturing Workshop in Charleston, SC on March 10-11, 1994. At the workshop we discussed the potential creation of a nationwide, collaborative research and development (R&D) effort to benefit the American footwear industry. The group of participants was comprised of top-level executives and leading technologists from diverse organizations - custom footwear manufacturers and footwear industry suppliers; trade associations for therapeutic footwear and for mainstream ready-to-wear footwear; professional societies representing foot and ankle health professionals; apparel and textile R&D organizations, the Army, the Air Force, and others. During the workshop, we discussed applicable technologies for custom and therapeutic footwear manufacturing, related business requirements, national impacts on the economy and health care, and potential strategies to launch a nationwide R&D effort. We decided that our best strategy will be to concentrate initial efforts on the technology requirements of therapeutic footwear. We believe that the proper development, commercialization, and particularly the integration of the advanced technologies discussed, will enable the cost-effective design, manufacture, and distribution of therapeutic footwear. The resulting cost benefits to national health care will be enormous because of the major cost avoidance of much more expensive medical treatment. At the workshop conclusion, we agreed on action items to continue the effort begun. This report documents the workshop and is intended as a starting point to initiate the R&D program proposed.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 5521
Report Number


custom footwear, footwear manufacturing, pedorthic footwear, pedorthist, therapeutic footwear


Moncarz, H. (1994), Program Requirements to Advance the Technology of Custom Footwear Manufacturing, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 30, 2024)


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Created August 1, 1994, Updated November 10, 2018