History

  • The Story of Elio Parodi

    Arcopedico’s story begins against the backdrop of Portugal. Elio Parodi, a natural inventor with a goal to revolutionise comfort footwear, sought evidence to support a simple theory - footwear that supported the arch, supported the spine. After months of study and consultations with orthopaedist’s and podiatrist’s, Parodi patented an orthopaedic sole that correctly supported the arch of the foot.

    The design featured two lengthways support structures that Arcopedico wearers would know now as the Dual Arch Support System. This structure not only provides supreme comfort, but help to improve the wearer’s alignment, gait and posture.

    And in 1966, the Arcopedico brand was born.
  • The Introduction of a Classic

    The first pair of Arcopedico shoes produced was the classic Knit line. The blend of techno-elastic technology and knitted nylon fibres creates a comfortable, supportive environment for the foot while allowing full range of motion. Affectionately nicknamed ‘shocks’ for their durability and sock-like feel, the knit line remains one of Arcopedico’s loved styles.

    The first pairs of Arcopedico’s knit shoes were sold in café’s around Portugal by Elio Parodi’s wife, Maria. Maria realised that to convince customers to buy Arcopedico shoes she needed them to experience the true unparalleled comfort for themselves.

    "I had to convince people that were in the cafes to put on the Arcopédico shoes. People had to experience the sensation. When I convinced them to put the shoes on, I knew I would be able to sell them" - Maria de Lurdes Rodrigues Parodi,
  • Close To Home

    To this day all Arcopedico shoes are produced in the picturesque Villa de Conde, Portugal. Arcopedico exclusively produced the Knit line there for over 20 years, a style that has now sold over 20 million pairs worldwide.

    The company continues to be operated by the Parodi family and Elio’s son, Enrico Parodi, took over direction of the company after his father. He works tirelessly to continue his father’s legacy of innovation and understanding.

    “Even today my father's time has still not arrived. It will come later. He often had ideas, but he found himself always overtaken by time. In the end he was always 50 years ahead of the story.” - Enrico Parodi
  • A Legacy of Innovation

    In 1999, Arcopedico began diversifying its styles, Enrico had inherited his father’s skill for invention and innovation and knew there was something more he could add to the footwear industry. That year the first Leather style was released.

    In 2011, the now-famous Lytech line was introduced to Arcopedico and instantly became a worldwide success. An ultra-light blend of Polyutherane and Lycra, these shoes are flexible, breathable and naturally adapt to the shape of the foot. A great shoe for travelling, the Lytech range weighs on average 310 grams, are machine washable, water-resistant, and can easily fold and fit into a suitcase.

    The Lytech line also brought about the introduction of more eco-conscious fashion production. All Lytech shoes are vegan, biodegradable, eco-friendly and BioCalce Certified, a certification that ensures long-lasting, comfortable and quality footwear that eliminates the use of toxic materials.
  • The Future of Footwear

    50 years after the launch of its first patent, Arcopedico launched the Star Shoes Project, a mission looking to pioneer the study of the world’s feet. The project invited 19 different countries to leave their footprints in phenolic foam boxes, which were sent back to Arcopedico’s Portuguese headquarters for assessment. An astounding 2600 Arcopedico lovers around the world participated in this study.

    Arcopedico partnered with the Institute for Science and Innovation at the University of Porto, who tested the results to accurately measure the distribution of the foot across the plantar surface, as well as gait and posture. The results of this project will help create the new Arcopedico patent, which will cater to different foot types and needs from all around the world.

    You can learn more about the Star Shoes Project here.
  • Next Steps

    In 2017 Arcopedico launched sister brand ‘Easy Walk Experience’. Its signature style, the Lolita ballet flat is designed with Elstech, a blend of Lycra materials that complement the foot’s natural shape. Extremely lightweight and flexible, the Lolita’s are a versatile flat ideal for adding a pop of colour to everyday adventures.

    Arcopedico is currently lead by Elio Parodi’s grandson, fittingly named, Elio Parodi. A true legacy of his grandfather, Elio leads Arcopedico every day to tread into unknown water’s in pursuit of innovation.

    "It's part of our DNA that we continue to strive to improve, innovate and seek out something better for the consumer" - Elio Parodi