AO3 CRITERIA

The secret to curating our healthy footwear collection


Each season, we meet with fashion brands to preview their upcoming collections, choose the top trends, then keep only those that meet our AO3 Criteria.
Not all shoes are created equal. Some will help you; and some will hurt you. The integrity of our footwear lies especially in how we select each model. As experts in footwear construction, we carefully consider the structure and mechanics of footwear according to our three main Align Orthotics, or AO3, criteria. 

 

SHOES THAT ARE IDEAL FOR:

 

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AO CRITERIA 1

REINFORCED HEEL COUNTER

The strength of the shoe that surrounds your heel determines your rearfoot alignment; the stronger it is, the better. A strong heel counter not only provides a suitable foundation for the Align OrthoticTM to function in, it also provides the guidance for your calcaneus (heel bone) to sit properly, with or without an Align OrthoticTM. This feature is most important for Pes Planus and Pes Cavus foot types. It is also beneficial during extended periods of walking.



AO CRITERIA 2

STIFFENED SHANK

The structure of the midsole of a shoe is critical. While the foot is flexible and dynamic, the midsection of shoe should not be. A shoe with a stiff shank will aid in improved balance, provide a suitable base for your foot to function in, and minimize excessive mobility from the foot once it fatigues. This AO2 feature is important for all foot types and footwear, except when athletes are using footwear for plyometric and agility work where intrinsic foot musculature strengthening is a focus.


AO CRITERIA 3

EFFECTIVE FLEXPOINT

The location and quality of where the shoe flexes when walking is important. It is typically located at the ball of the foot, and should not be too flexible, nor too firm. The quality and design of the flexpoint in some shoes will be more accommodating for certain individuals than it will be for others. While this feature is important for all shoe shoppers, it is extremely important for those who have foot problems such as bunions, hammer toes, etc. It is best to book an appointment and to seek the advice of an Align Certified Clinician regarding AO3 Effective Flexpoint.


While the A03 Criteria are a basis for curating the collection in the Align Designer Showroom, many other factors in the shoes' construction are at play. 

And within the collection, not all shoes are right for your unique biomechanics. Some could help you; and some could hurt you. That's what makes Align CFF so different. It's the combination of our medical expertise, appreciation for the art of fashion and beauty; and the desire to have you wearing shoes that will both inspire and heal you.


Shop the Collection
&
Book a video or in-person appointment
to determine which shoes bring you into alignment.