Recently launched Upstep modernizes custom orthotics biz

 - 
Friday, July 21, 2017

NEW YORK – When a trio of siblings decided to launch a startup, Limor Katz’s nearly lifelong experience with foot pain led her and her two brothers to custom orthotics.

“I was in terrible pain—every day I would have to come home and rest my feet,” said Katz, co-founder and CMO of Upstep, an online custom orthotics service. “Custom orthotics changed my life. I don’t remember what foot pain is now.”

After a soft launch in 2016, Upstep announced its official launch in June. The company’s custom orthotics cost, on average, $189 to $239, compared to $300 to $500 in a podiatrist’s office.

Katz, along with her brothers Aviad and Oren Raz, spent two years working with a top podiatrist testing various orthotics and materials.

“There were many challenges to making custom orthotics without seeing the customer,” said Aviad Oren, co-founder. “The main issue is how to make foot impressions and how to fit it into the shoe.”

The process they settled on: Customers receive a footprint kit with easy instructions to make an imprint, then Upstep uses 3D technology to scan the imprint and create a custom orthotic based on the individual’s specific needs. The company stores those scans in its database so customers can order additional orthotics for up to five years.

“It’s easy—it takes five minutes,” said Katz. “It makes us happy to make a product that lets people come home with a lot of energy and enable them to focus on family and on fun things, and not on their feet.”

Katz and Oren believe a cheaper and simpler process for obtaining custom orthotics will help to upend a statistic that has only one-third of the 77% of Americans who suffer from foot pain doing anything about it.

“Custom orthotics are very expensive and the process for (obtaining them) can be very frustrating,” said Oren. “We provide a holistic solution for each customer.”