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It’s been a busy year at OESH and by all accounts, will be utterly insane next year.

Early this year, our La Vida v 2.0 took legs (literally) with a few blog posts that went viral, some really nice media coverage, and a new report from the American College of Sports Medicine that the ideal running shoe is something that looks a whole heck of a lot like our OESH La Vida v 2.0. Then word got around that the La Vida is the go-to “gym shoe,” ideal for the treadmill, cardio equipment, indoor courts (because of its non-marking sole), etc., etc. And that it’s ideal for everything outside the gym as well – for walking, working, hiking, trail running, going to the grocery store, traveling (because they are so lightweight), etc., etc., etc.

Then later in the year, the Fashion Section of the Wall Street Journal decreed that high-heeled shoes are not only dead but that the new “in” shoe is something that looks, once again, a whole heck of a lot like our OESH La Vida 2.0, providing only further validation that it isn’t just A-Okay to wear your La Vidas to church, it is downright fashionable. (That they clean up well in the washer, after getting good and muddy on the lacrosse field is nice in this regard.)

Rest assured that none of this popularity has gotten to our heads. We’ve continued doing research, developing and refining the perfect combination of materials that makes the La Vida 2.0’s the healthiest shoe possible.

Then there’s the manufacturing and sustainability side of things for which we’ve been getting a lot of attention lately. And it’s not just because I’ve been wearing my Rosie the Riveter “We Can Do It” t-shirt to the factory. We partnered with Autodesk (the people who invented 3-D computer aided-design) who just this month, profiled OESH in a mega presentation to media and industry analysts. And this week, we were awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to do some pretty cool stuff that I’ll be reporting on next year.

We’ve continued designing and refining the machines we use to make shoes. This has included, since the beginning of the year, designing and making specialized 3D printers that can print unique materials and material combinations that have never before been 3D printed; materials that will soon find a home in what I call the next new “impossible shoe sole.” More to come on this – stay tuned.

With the huge success of our Christmas Sale, I know many of you are looking forward to opening up a new pair of OESH under the tree. There certainly will be some La Vidas under our tree and I’m hoping there will be at least one pair for me (hint: I could use a new pair of Rococco’s).

Wait, I DO have one early Christmas gift… this comment from “Deb”:

“I came across your shoes in a Google search for “best shoes for knee pain”…I have terrible Knee Osteoarthritis and could not stand it any longer. I do not want to have surgery, I was awfully desperate… It has not been 1 full week since my Oesh La Vida’s arrived and I am feeling WONDERFUL! I still can’t believe how much less pain I have! I am able to go up and down the stairs so much more freely!…Thank You, Thank You for making these shoes!! Looking forward to ordering more!”

Thank you Deb. Many of you know that it was my research on the effects of shoes on our joints that started this whole adventure and that OESH are designed to minimize loads on the joints in our body where we are prone to developing osteoarthritis. While prevention of course is best, it’s OESHers like Deb who are best at being able to tell us that our OESH La Vidas indeed are doing what we’re designing them to do.

If this year wasn’t insane enough (and I thank each and every one of you OESHers for that), next year is going to be out of control. But we’ll be ready for it, right after we take a little break to decorate the tree, make some eggnog, and work on keeping Marcia away from it.

I wish you all the very happiest and healthiest of holidays. See you next year!

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