Update from Laura West, Secretary of the Society of Shoe Fitters

Sometimes it only takes a small acorn to make a mighty oak, a small mouse to frighten an elephant and a horse shoe nail to win a battle. Thefootwear industry has been in decline for the past 30 years, but until now it has been allowed to do so without any formal protest.
The Society of Shoe Fitters is taking on the challenge and will be speaking up for the footwear
industry in a bid to educate the public how important it is to have feet regularly measured
and fitted and for shoes to be considered more than just an accessory.

Shoes are the only item of clothing that can seriously damage health in the long term. Over
135 foot amputations are taking place weekly and it is costing the NHS a fortune. Bad shoes end up in landfill in a short period of time having travelled thousands of miles to get to our shops and even good shoes won’t perform as they should if they do not fit the foot correctly.
‘Anyone can measure, but not many can ‘fit’ shoes professionally’ says the SSF.

The SSF have health professional ‘big guns’ on side, with David Dunning – Head of the College of Podiatry, Professor Wesley Vernon OBE and Shelagh Morris – Deputy Chief Allied Health
Professions Officer, Medical Directorate NHS England in attendance, accompanied by other
industry leads. They will be lobbying government to help educate the public about their footwear, supporting the organisation and National Shoe Fitting Week. In turn other initiatives will be put forward i.e. a Government health warning on all children’s footwear, linking children’s shoe buying to child benefit, greater recognition and benefits for shoe retailers who are offering a professional fitting service for both adults and children.

All of these solutions will help increase footfall into shops and inform purchasers that it is not
only their feet that are at risk, but the cost is great to the NHS who are already overstretched.
There is a cost implication of thousands to run this event and it is far more than a non-profit
making organisation can afford. There are a few millionaires in the industry and some successful companies still making a profit, so a contribution even as small as £100 would help, however both the Healthy Footwear Council and D.B. Shoes will be contributing £500 each.
It is time the industry put something back to support this organisation. who do so much for so
many and contribute to an event that could help us all. The thank you will be made public (unless requested otherwise).

Cheques made payable to the Society of Shoe Fitters – or contact the Secretary to make a direct payment. If there is a surplus it will be contributed to promote National Shoe Fitting Week 2016.

Next SSF Footwear & Fitting Course starts October 1st.
Contact: The Secretary,
c/o The Anchorage, 28 Admirals Walk,
HINGHAM, Norfolk. NR9 4JL.
Email: secretary@shoefitters-uk.org