Congress ORTHOPEDICS SHOE TECHNOLOGY 2023: Competence and knowledge for your company's success

Foto: Eisele/C. Maurer Fachmedien

"Analyzing, understanding, providing" and "My company - my future" are the main topics of the ORTHOPÄDIE SCHUH TECHNIK congress on October 20 and 21, 2023 in Cologne. The question that unites both topics is: With which competencies and concepts will I be successful with my business in the future?

Pedorthics is under pressure from many sides. In many countries, there is a shortage of well-trained specialists in the workshops. The production of assistive devices is shifting more and more towards technology and external service providers. While some companies are growing and branching out, many owners are unable to find a successor for their business. Competitors from outside the industry are trying to gain a foothold in the orthopedic footwear market with the help of digitized processes.

All these developments are no reason to bury one's head in the sand. They challenge one to find new solutions and new concepts for this craft, with which committed and well-trained orthopedic shoemaker masters can continue to hold their own on the market with their own business in the future.

Analyze, understand, provide

How can pedorthists differentiate themselves from their competitors in the future if feet can simply be scanned and the data sent around the world for fitting? One answer is: in the future, he will concentrate even more on those service areas that require direct contact with the customer and cannot be digitized. These are not additional "services" for the patient that can actually be dispensed with. This is about those examinations of the patient that give the pedorthists the right information about which solution will best help the patient. In addition to the patient evaluation, this primarily involves the manual, functional examination of the foot and the assessment of gait and posture.

Anyone who has attended congresses and educational events in recent years will have encountered this approach time and again. Only when one really understands where the patient's problem lies will one be able to help him or her, whether from the medical, physiotherapeutic or pedorthic side. It has become widely accepted that the location of the pain and the location of the cause of the pain are often not identical. Only those who have a good understanding of the functional significance of the anatomical structures are in a position to treat the causes of problems.

In the congress focus "Analyze, understand, provide" there are therefore numerous lectures and seminars that provide a more comprehensive understanding of the functional relationships in our musculoskeletal system. The topics range from foot examination to the assessment of walking and standing, concepts for the correct choice of assistive devices, sensorimotor function and new findings from fascia research.

This knowledge is not only fundamental for successful fitting, but also gives pedorthists a decisive competitive advantage. The treatment of foot problems is becoming increasingly important, especially in the aging societies of the industrialized nations. People who are well on their feet determine their own lives and participate in social life. The market is growing and offers opportunities for those who offer individual and high-quality solutions. Anyone who studies what successful companies do right will come across the above criteria again and again: The individual grasp of the problem and just as individualized provision. This is always complemented by an outward appearance in which the customers also feel and experience this performance - for example, through the equipment but also the way in which communication with the patients takes place.

My business - my future

Which concept is right for my business? If I want to become self-employed, how does that work? How can I hand over my business? These questions will be addressed on the second day in the congress as well as in a seminar. Different companies will present their concepts and models will be presented on how the start into self-employment can succeed.

Standards of care and the integration of new technologies will be presented in a cooperation session with various professional societies, with both concepts and practical implementations in the company being presented.

In addition to the main topics, new findings from science and practice will also be presented at the congress, as usual. The extensive seminar program will on the one hand intensify topics from the congress and on the other hand again present a wide range of topics from pedorthic expertise to business management and marketing.

In the forum in the exhibition hall, many companies will once again present their innovations. One focus this year will be 3D printing.

On the second day of the congress, the issues of the future will once again be addressed and discussed in a large panel discussion - with the opportunity for everyone to contribute their ideas.

The congress thus offers many opportunities to get fit for the future in times of change and to actively shape the future of pedorthics.

For more information about the congress and the seminars please go to