Sponsored by Forest Grove Economic Development
Home Archives October 2009 Bad health is good for specialty shoe stores

Bad health is good for specialty shoe stores

| Print |  Email
Thursday, October 01, 2009

One specialty shoemaker is seeing a bump in business as Oregon’s diabetes rate spikes.

Bill Crary, owner of Crary Shoes in Portland, says requests for customized molding for diabetics now make up nearly two-thirds of his overall business. And Crary believes the reason is clear. “In the last four years we tripled in sales,” Crary says. “That’s all due to diabetes.”

The growing demand allowed the Crary family business to open a second location in Beaverton last December. Working with daughter Meredith and son Nathan, Crary says the company now employs 11 staff, including four shoemakers. He estimates he sees 40 to 50 diabetics weekly, with an average customized pair of shoes costing Medicare around $540.

According to a 2008 report by the Oregon Department of Human Services, diabetes in Oregon has jumped 35% in the past decade. ODHS notes that feet are particularly susceptible to diabetes complications because the disease causes a lack of circulation, which corresponds with neuropathy, and if not cared for properly, gangrene. The American Diabetic Association says more than 60% of all lower-limb non-traumatic amputations are caused by diabetes.

Industry experts say specialized footwear for diabetics is becoming more mainstream nationally as the number of people living with the disease grows. Joe McTernan of the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association says Medicare orders nationwide for “off-the-shelf” orthotic footwear increased by 50% between 2003 and 2007. Gordon Rabing, sales manager for Amfit, an orthotic products and service company based in Vancouver, Wash., says many traditional shoe companies now offer two or three stock models of diabetic shoes.

Brian Lagana, executive director of the Pedorthic Footwear Association, says that across the country companies such as Crary Shoes have not been hit as hard by the economic downturn as other industries, with diabetics a significant part of their patient base. “You can certainly see an upsurge in diabetic individuals being treated,” he says. “And we’re only going to see that increase in the foreseeable future.”

WILLIAM E. CRAWFORD
 

More Articles

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Steve Balzac

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

082014BalzacBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Steve Balzac, author of "Organizational Psychology for Managers."


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Q&A: David Lively of Organically Grown Co.

News
Tuesday, July 01, 2014
OGCLogoBY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER

Demand for organic food continues to soar: Last year, sales of organic food rose to $32.3 billion — up 10% from 2012. In Oregon, organic produce wholesaler Organically Grown Co. has been championing organic growing methods for four decades.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Attack of the Robin Sages

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 07, 2014
070714 thumb linkedinfakesBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS