By: Deanna Rebro | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: January 2008
Mark “The Sole Man”Dougherty constructs acustom orthotic in hisnew lab at SoleFX.
Mark Dougherty, owner ofSoleFX, has the same career asonly 7,000 other people in theUnited States. As a certified pedorthist, he studies shoe construction and modification, footorthotics, materials, fabrication,as well as the anatomy, physiologyand biomechanics of lowerextremities. The terminologymay sound complicated, but the idea is very simple. It is the connection between your feet andyour shoes.
Dougherty says his career path has included 20 years of working as a pastor and as manager of the ladies shoe department at a major retailer. “That’s how I was dubbed ‘The Sole Man,’” he says with a laugh. Dougherty is not a doctor and does not diagnose conditions; he makes referrals when needed. However, he does make, modify and fit shoes.
While working in retail, Dougherty noticed poorly-fitted shoes every day. He estimates that 90 percent were too short and too narrow. Some ladies wore high heels with very pointed toes. Some stood on concrete all day. The results were complaints, at the least. And sometimes there was serious foot damage.
According to Dougherty, the human foot is designed for pressure to be distributed evenly. “This is much like walking barefoot in the sand,” he says. For many reasons, issues can create stress on muscles, ligaments and tendons. While a few pinpoint areas get more than their share of pressure, other areas do not get enough support. The result is tired, sore, aching feet.
The solution for many peoples’ worn-out feet is as simple as a strategically-placed insert, one of the many things offered at Sole FX. Inserts, which are available for as little as $30, can be purchased for arch cushioning, heel lifts, bunion shields, bunion splints, hammer toes and more.
With a doctor’s prescription, Dougherty can custom-craft an orthotic to develop mechanical changes in a foot’s operation. Deviation from normal operation can be a result of such diseases as diabetes and arthritis or from joint and soft tissue trauma from injury. On average, the custom service costs $300 and is generally covered by insurance. All fabrication is done on-site in the Sole FX lab, which helps to keep prices reasonable and accessible to more people.
Best of all, Dougherty offers a comfort guarantee on all his orthotics. If a customer’s feet are not comfortable within 90 days and three or more adjustments, he or she will receive either a full replacement or a refund. Dougherty says he will do everything possible to help his customers get the foot comfort they need. He provides a variety of products to fit all financial situations. And there is no charge for office consultations, which include seated and standing foot measurement, as well as gait evaluation.
SoleFX accepts all major credit cards, as well as insurance companies, for prescription orthotics. Even short-term payment plans can be arranged.
The grand opening is underway for the first phase of SoleFX. Future expansion plans include the availability of diabetic, comfort and athletic shoes.
A member of the Owasso Chamber of Commerce, SoleFX is located next to Pet Stop in Owasso. Store hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. Walkins are welcome. For more information, stop in or call (918) 609-6136. What are you waiting for? Stop walking on worn-out feet. Let Dougherty give your feet the help and support they need.
Deanna Rebro has worked in the publishing industry 30+ years, including eight years writing for Value News. She has also worked in real estate for the past six years. Deanna graduated from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio with a B.A. in Journalism. Outside of work, she serves as Vice President on the Board of Directors for Pet Adoption League. “Every story I write is a learning experience,” she said.