When George Anderson (NFL athletic trainer) and Chuck Smith (founding StrideTek® principal) paths crossed in the mid 1990’s as part of a national product launch involving pain management, no one could have predicted that nearly 20 years later these two “Free Spirits” would be responsible for creating a line of Performance Footgear that will revolutionize how lower extremity ailments are treated. Widely considered to be the father of modern athletic training in the United States, George Anderson perfected his knack for innovation during his 35 years as the head athletic trainer with the Super Bowl Champion Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders.
A product of the Southern California lifestyle, Chuck Smith was a competitive athlete who loved to test the boundaries of every sport he participated in. Unfortunately, by his 26th birthday, Chuck had endured 6 Arthroscopic Knee Surgeries, 2 ACL reconstructions and torn ligaments in his ankle twice. Knowing his body could no longer withstand the punishment his lifestyle was creating, Chuck began the journey of experimenting with a variety of training aids that would allow him to continue his passion for life and gain some practical knowledge of preventing these injuries in the first place.
Originally developed to meet the rigorous demands of professional athletes in a training room environment, George witnessed time and time again that lower extremity issues were best addressed and prevented by posting the front of the foot through a taping technique that prevented over pronation and held the foot in a neutral position. After witnessing the positive effects from athletes George had worked with, Chuck immediately realized if this technology could be transferred into a user friendly foot bed, it would produce a line of “Footgear” unlike anything currently being utilized. Until now, the traditional school of thought treated lower extremity problems from the heel up, this technology focused on securing the fore foot and working down.
With Chuck’s knees being the perfect test subject, George and Chuck took their patented Metatarsal Riser and began experimenting with a variety of designs focused on creating an orthotic insole that was not only effective, but provided a level of comfort not normally seen in traditional orthotics. As no insole had ever provided relief to Chuck’s surgically repaired knees, it was somewhat of a miracle for Chuck to utilize initial prototypes and continue his lifestyle with almost no pain whatsoever.
The end result of this trial and error process produced a user friendly, “gait cycle control” solution that focuses on the anatomical relationship between the heel, the arch, and metatarsal area during running and walking. StrideTek’s revolutionary patented design produces the first insole that not only resists over-pronation, but stabilizes the foot in a manner consistent with an orthotic, while simultaneously providing a dynamic transfer of energy through the entire gait cycle beginning with the heel strike, moving forward to the arch and stabilizing the forefoot while completing the stride.
Field trials conducted by some of the most renowned trainers in the United States concluded an 83% resolution of symptoms including shin splints, plantar fasciitis, patellar tendinitis, turf toe, heel spurs, etc. within 72 hours of use, while 88% of the participants felt immediate comfort. Today, you will find StrideTek® products on world class athletes, soldiers, special operation’s team members, first responders and individuals who are serious about pursuing a healthy and pain free lifestyle.