MANCHESTER CENTER — A local shoe store has added a certified professional to their staff whom management says will help customers find a good fit.
Gretchen Lima, a professional certified pedorthist, has joined the team at the Family Footwear Center at 4578 Main St.
Lima has been trained in proper shoe fitting of both children and adults. She can also help people with diabetes, temporary or chronic foot pain and other ailments to find the right footwear.
"With there being a lot of different shoe stores out there, bringing her on board is helping us set ourselves apart," store manager Josh Denio said Monday.
Lima will be at the store on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Consultations and analyses are free.
"Our feet are the foundation of our body and also have an impact on our knees, back and neck," Lima explained. "Wearing the proper footwear can significantly improve our comfort and quality of life."
Pedorthics is the "science and practice of evaluating, fabricating and delivery of footwear" meant to prevent or improve painful or disabling conditions, according to the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics and Pedorthics.
During the certification process, a person undergoes special training and learns how to manage comprehensive care to the foot and ankle. Pedorthists like Lima can prescribe devices and footwear to improve a person's balance, re-align anatomical structures, and accommodate for those with circulatory issues or foot deformities.
Lima, of Rutland, received her pedorthic certification in February 2010 from the Eneslow Pedorthic Institute in Manhattan, N.Y. She has additional training through Aetrex and Orthofeet Pedorthic courses, Masterfit biomechanics and lab techniques and Quadro Step functional gait analysis.
Denio says it's nice to be able to explain the physiological reasoning behind different shoes, as the team at Family Footwear wants customers to have a shoe that's right for them. Improperly fitted shoes, whether they be incorrect in length or width, can cause problems with a person's knees, hips, and back.
"We want our customer service to stand out," he said.
An appointment is free and usually takes about an hour, but the length can be flexible, according to Denio. For more information or to schedule an free appointment, call 802-362-4378.
Contact Edward Damon at 413-770-6979