In an industrial park near Charlottesville’s mall, there are 3D printers producing shoes thanks to Dr. Casey Kerrigan. She built a laboratory at the University of Virginia to help her study the way that people move. By using cameras in a room she was able to pick up where the hip, knee, and other centers of the body are. Kerrigan also used force plates to see how much impact there is at the joints. One of the findings was that high heels increased pressure on the knee joint by 26 percent. Women’s shoes, especially high heels, can be very bad for your feet. Any heel will add pressure on the knees, and to add to it toe boxes are not good for those with wide feet.


Using the data she gathered and the help from a grant Kerrigan designed and created athletic shoes and sandals. She decided to call the brand OESH that is shoe “upside down and inside out.” People who walk and run need something very springy, and the upper part of OESH does just that. The stretchy fabric breathes and the sole is made from a material that feels like hard rubber. You can also shred the soles and put them right back into a 3D printer to print a new pair of sandals. It has been found however that the material does not wear down very easily. Somebody even hiked 4,000 miles on a trail with a pair. Sales have doubled every since production started in 2011. Ever since Kerrigan figured out the impact high heels does on your knees, she made it her goal to make a shoe that does no harm.


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