According to a survey released earlier this year by the American Podiatric Medical Association, foot health ranks near the bottom on the list of body parts/functions that Americans make a concentrated effort to “take care of.” Only 2-in-10 Americans think about their foot health regularly, and this number has remained consistent since 2010, according to the APMA. And yet, almost 8-in-10 Americans have experienced a foot problem, and half say it has impacted their quality of life. Those with regular foot pain tend to have a host of other health issues.
(For the full report, including charts, click here.)
Overall, sales of foot care products were relatively flat for the 52 weeks ended July 13, down 0.6% to $1 billion. The lion’s share of the foot care product sales volume originates from devices, which were down 1.8% to $661.8 million.
However, that may change with the number of devices targeting consumers with plantar fasciitis coming to market. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that impacts 2 million people at any one time, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Some people are more prone to plantar fasciitis, say orthopedic foot and ankle doctors, including women, people who are overweight and workers who spend a lot of time walking or standing on hard surfaces. People with very flat feet or very high arches also are more prone to plantar fasciitis.
Implus identified the niche need within foot care a year ago with its launch of the Airplus Plantar Fasciitis Orthotic, which provides support for the plantar fascia and a gel cushion to help relieve heel pain. Merck’s Dr. Scholl’s brand has a line of products called PRO Pain Relief Orthotics that targets sufferers of plantar fasciitis, and Mueller recently launched FasciaDerm PFTape to help relieve heel and/or arch pain.