A customer of PGC develops orthotic components and products for functionality and comfort. They were searching for the best performing material to help with ankle foot orthosis (AFO). AFO devices are used to help maintain proper alignment and improve walking patterns. To help the wearer, they were looking to develop a shoe insert that would be placed inside their AFO device to aid performance.
Our customer was looking for material that had to be comfortable enough to walk around in all day while at the same time “hard” enough to not compression set. Along with comfortability, the material had an adhesive on the back that had to stick to the soles of the shoes well and at the same time be easy to adjust as needed.
Samples of hard and soft material were tested at varying thicknesses. Plastic was tested, but it wasn’t comfortable enough for all day wear. Softer materials were tested, but that compressed and lost its shape. Luckily, PGC has a diverse network of suppliers and quickly a solution was found that was soft enough to wear, but “hard” enough to endure the long days.
PGC was able to find a solution that checked all the requirements for the insert. It is now being used successfully by their customer.