Why Scholl is unique
Experts in foot health and comfort since 1904
Scholl. A name recognised by most people who care about their feet. A name synonymous today with feet and footcare in over 70 countries worldwide.
But did you know the Scholl brand was named after the company's founder, Dr William Mathias Scholl? It would be fair to say that Dr Scholl was single-minded when it came to feet, dedicating his life to improving the health, comfort and well-being of people through their feet.
It was this dedication and drive that has provided an enduring legacy that is as vital today as it was when he founded the company a century ago.
The medical and scientific specialists who make up today’s Scholl team continue to share Dr Scholl's passion for understanding the structure and biomechanics of the foot in relation to the whole body. They take inspiration from his insight and remain dedicated to identifying problems, seeking solutions and developing innovative products, which stay true to William's original philosophy.
"The feet provide the foundation for the rest of the body." Dr William M Scholl
Dr Scholl's story began in Chicago (USA) in a small shoe store specialising in comfort and specialist footwear. The year was 1899 and seventeen-year-old William M Scholl was about to embark on a lifelong quest to improve the health and comfort of people through their feet. So intrigued was he by the number of people he met with painful foot conditions that he enrolled in medical school. His goal? To understand more fully the human body and, specifically, the anatomy and physiology of the foot.
The beginnings of foot healthcare
William was still a medical student when he created his first remarkable invention, the Foot-Eazer. Designed to correct weakness in the foot arch, he launched it on an unsuspecting world in 1904, shortly after qualifying as a doctor at the age of 22. The Foot-Eazer was to become one of the most successful product lines in the field of foot healthcare.
Realising the differences his insights could make to people’s lives, he joined forces with his brother, Frank, to create a range of remedial and cushioning devices, which would eventually cover the whole spectrum of common foot conditions.
Spreading the word
Dr William Scholl had many strings to his bow. Not only was he a prolific inventor, but he was also a dedicated teacher and author, responsible for many significant events in the history of footcare. Indeed, in 1912 he founded the Illinois College of Chiropody and Orthopaedics, which soon became the largest teaching institution in its field in the United States of America.
And he didn’t stop there! In 1913, Scholl was one of the first to offer free foot examinations to the public through its Dr Scholl's Foot Comfort Service Stores
In 1916 he even created an Annual National Foot Comfort Week!
Getting into footwear
In the 1920s Dr William Scholl moved into footwear itself by designing a range of comfort shoes, actively promoted by his Foot Comfort Demonstration Service.
It was in 1959 that saw one of Scholl’s most notable product launches. The Scholl Exercise Sandal not only transformed the image of the brand, but also brought benefits to millions of wearers. Known to the public simply as "Scholls", they quickly became a style and comfort icon throughout the 60s and 70s. And whilst the designs have been updated, all remain true to the ergonomic principles of the original model.
Looking after legs
It was only a matter of time before the company extended its expertise beyond the foot. It had helped millions experience foot comfort, but what about leg comfort?
In the 1930s, they began to market compression hosiery for the relief of swollen ankles and varicose veins. This expertise has continued ever since, including the launch in 2001 of a range of medically proven compression socks (Flight Socks), in response to the increasing awareness of flight related deep vein thrombosis (DVT).* Yet another example of how the pioneering spirit of the great Dr Scholl still persists and has helped to ensure that Scholl remains at the forefront of its field.
Sadly, Dr William M Scholl died in 1968, aged 86, but his vision and expertise in foot health and comfort, together with his understanding of consumers and their needs, remain at the heart of Scholl.
Our valuable heritage
For over 100 years, Scholl has been responsible for key advances, innovation and invention in the area of foot health, comfort and well being. And like Dr Scholl, we will continue to research and develop new ways to help improve footcare, foot comfort and foot biomechanics.
* Belcaro G, Cesarone MR, Shah SSG et al. Prevention of edema, flight microangiopathy and venous thrombosis in long flights with elastic stockings. A randomised trial. The LONFLIT 4 Concorde Edema - SSL Study. Angiology 2002 53(6):635-45