Company History


Dr. Kerrigan publishes the first biomechanical gait study ever published in a major medical scientific journal (The Lancet), showing that footwear (in this study, high heeled shoes) has a measurable biomechanical effect on the body above the foot (in this study, at the knee).


Further biomechanical studies (in Dr. Kerrigan’s laboratory at Harvard Medical School) on the effect of different types of shoes, shoe modifications, and orthotics on joint biomechanics. Discovered that most women’s dress and comfort shoes, not just stiletto type high-heeled shoes, increase the forces about the knee where we are prone to knee pain and osteoarthritis. Dr. Kerrigan is recruited to the University of Virginia School of Medicine where she builds a new laboratory which is the first in the world that can measure the 3D effects of footwear on joint biomechanics during running. She finds that peak forces on the body related to stress and strains do not occur at the moment of “impact” when the heel first hits the ground, but later when the foot is fully planted and body weight is fully supported. Her conclusion is that shoe soles should be designed so as to not cushion heel impact but rather respond, in an elastic-spring way, when forces through the joints and the rest of the body are at their peak. She researches a variety of designs and materials for shoe soles that respond at just the right time when stresses and strains through the body are at their greatest.


Dr. Kerrigan leaves her tenured position at the University of Virginia School of Medicine to build a factory in Charlottesville, Virginia where she can fully research and develop her specialized materials and designs not common to the shoe industry. She founds the company, OESH, the word “SHOE” turned upside down and inside out and creates a limited proof of concept line of shoes: the OESH Classics and Lizards.


Dr. Kerrigan improves upon the design and materials, developing a novel elastic spring material which is incorporated into the immediately popular La Vida shoes.


La Vidas are made in seven different colorways. The Elite, a professional dress shoe, is launched. A novel 3D printing process is created that can 3D print the specialized elastic spring material. This new process is used to make the ultra limited 3D printed Athena Sandals.