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“I was born in 1960 in Busan, South Korea, where I live today. I used to be a microbiologist, but 25 years ago I left the microbiology lab and started to do business in the shoe world, working with my college colleague at Reebok (Korea) and developing Shimano cycling shoes.
I worked at Shimano for 12 years as a vice-president with a focus on sales. In this period Shimano became a leading brand in the world market, surpassing many Italian brands. Household name Nike tried to compete, but in this category it was unsuccessful, because our footwear was very functional and was made accordingly to the latest technology.
After this experience, I decided to form my own company and develop special footwear to assist the natural and proper development of human gait. This is how MBT, the most popular brand in the "conditioning shoes" category, was created in conjunction with our Swiss partners.
I soon sold this company and created a new business, WildCat Co. Ltd. Our first line of production was bespoke boot inserts. These inserts can be modified and modeled directly according to the shape of the foot and are thus produced individually for each of our clients. They are currently only sold in Korea and imported to doctors in Japan.
During my 25 accumulated years of experience in the footwear industry, my goal has been to create 100% functional shoes for children. My basic inspiration was the exploration of sports, healthy walking and leg and body rehabilitation. The other direction of production was the Attipas range of children's shoes.
Attipas shoes were developed in collaboration with the Department of Orthopaedics at the National Seoul University, and utilised the results of modern studies on the development of the baby's foot.
Vital information is that newborn feet are not filled with rigid bones, but soft and elastic cartilaginous tissue that you do not even record on an x-ray. Any deformation of this cartilage can negatively affect the child's entire motion system. Therefore, it is very important that the baby's foot should have the most natural development possible and that nothing should prevent it from moving.
The positive effect of natural walking patterns on the whole organism is confirmed by scientists around the world, and walking and running barefoot are becoming more and more popular in all developed countries of the US and Europe.
Any artificially altered environment during development, such as a solid heel and sole, is a burden for the baby's leg. A child will take an average of 18,000 steps each day, so his shoes should be light and not represent a burden for the foot. Our job is to help and support the perfect natural development of the human foot.
The Attipas infant and toddler footwear range naturally helps children's feet to be properly formed, providing as it does an experience that is as close as barefoot walking as possible. The shoes are extremely soft, flexible and mimic the shape of the baby's foot in order to facilitate the natural development of the baby's legs. A baby's first steps should be correct ones, because they are the basis of proper posture and gait for their entire lifetime!
Oh Dong Jae, Attipas CEO