Dr Scholl Exercise Sandal is a world famous sandal with a contoured foot-bed and a chunky wooden sole. The sandal has a raised toe to improve grip between the foot and the sandal and also position the leg into a desirable shape. The contoured foot-bed also supports the arch of the foot. The sandal’s wooden sole is lined with rubber that provides grip but also helps absorbs the impact of the shoe with the ground.
Dr Scholl’s Exercise Sandal is an extremely successful piece of footwear. The sandal was launched in the early 1960s. By 1968, 4 million pairs had been sold, sales reached 2 million pairs a year in the UK, and in the USA within 4 years of launch one million shoes has been sold. The sandals heydey was in the 1970s and is associated with the hippy culture of the time. Although it was out of vogue in the 1980s it returned to prominence in the 1990s. Sarah Jessica Parker famously swapped her Manolos for Dr Scholl’s sandal between shooting scenes for the Sex and the City TV series. The Sandal’s sole has also been credited with heavily influencing the chunky shoes and clogs that were very popular from the 60s to the early 70s.
Dr William Scholl was responsible for designing the sandal. In the late 1950s, Scholl returned from a trip to Finland with a wooden sandal he had found there. He redesigned the shoe and marketed it through his family company’s shoe shops as an easy way to exercise the arch of the foot that would help prevent a range of common foot problems. However, women started to wear the sandals as fashion shoes, and he soon realised he had a winning product. He re-launched the sandal with a new marketing slogan “looking good and doing you good”, and the sandals took off. By the mid-1960s sales in Britain alone had reached more than two million pairs a year. On the streets of London most young women seemed to be wearing them.