All posts by Justin Bearak

How to Heat Mold Orthotic Inserts for the Perfect Fit

According to this article by Thrive Global, only 20% of people have so-called perfect feet—where “the shape of their foot is neutral enough that they don’t need any type of additional support to help it hold its shape when it is supporting the weight of the body.”

In other cases, it’s recommended to counteract that lack of support with a specially-designed shoe—or at the very least, a custom orthotic shoe insert.

By heat molding orthotic shoe inserts, the patient can walk away with a perfect fit and optimal foot comfort—in any shoe they wear.

Read our 4 easy steps to heat molding orthotic inserts below: 


Step 1

  • Pre-heat oven to 200 F. Use an interior thermometer to verify internal temperature.
  • We recommend using a countertop toaster oven for best results. Such an oven easily maintains a constant temperature evenly throughout the heating space.

Step 2

  • Pre-fit heat moldable inserts by placing into footwear.
  • Trim areas if necessary to achieve a perfect fit. We recommend Finny 10” shears for trimming inserts.

Step 3

  • Heat the inserts by placing them in the oven for 2 minutes.
  • Use a silicone mat to protect inserts from the metal parts of the toaster oven.
  • Use Thermo Gloves to remove inserts after heating as the inserts will be hot.
  • Remove inserts and prepare to mold them your patient’s foot.

Step 4

  • Using a Rubber Molding Pillow, place hot inserts on pillow.
  • Request patient to stand on orthotic (make sure a sock is worn to protect bottom of foot from hot insert).
  • Hold position for two minutes, this ensures the insert will permanently take the foot’s shape.
  • The ridges on the rubber molding pillow are where the foot’s arch rests; ridges provide the extra support to mold the proper arch profile into the insert.

Our Thermothotic Molding Kits contain everything you need for heat molding (one even includes the oven). They offer an easy, effective and quick way to properly achieve total contact with the patient’s foot. The kits include a unique polyurethane molding pillow which allows the patient to remain seated throughout the molding process, easily molding the orthotic to each arch to achieve total comfort.

See all of our Thermothotic shoe inserts.

NEW PRODUCT: DeoSole odor-destroying shoe patch

DeoSole shoe odor patch

We’ve added a new product to our Ralyn Shoe Care line: DeoSole® odor-destroying shoe patch.

The DeoSole patch uses a unique carbon laminate odor-neutralizing technology that offers up to 3 months protection against shoe odor. The compact size fits easily in all types of footwear and is easy to apply—just peel and stick the patch inside shoes.

DeoSole odor-destroying shoe patch

Makes a great addition to your shoe care accessories display or countertop for impulse purchase at checkout. Sold in units of 12.

Contact us to learn more about DeoSole and to place an order.

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NEW PRODUCT: Ghiblis foam rubber sheets from SVIG

ZVIG Ghiblis Itaca and Moonlight

We are now carrying Ghiblis foam rubber sheets from SVIG, an Italian supplier of high-quality rubber for shoes and orthopedics. 

Ghiblis sheets are made with an innovative micro rubber compound that features lightness, snap, elasticity, flexibility, and grip. This high-quality material is also well-suited to orthopedics. 

We carry two distinct patterns, Moonlight and Itaca, in either black or white. 

Contact us to learn more about SVIG Ghiblis and to place your order. 

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Thank you for a great year—here’s to 2019!

Our December Shoe Repair Meet & Greet was also a special “Customer Appreciation Event.”

We welcomed our customers with coffee, sweet treats—and prizes, of course! We gave away 10 Amazon Echo Dots and the grand prize was a big-screen TV.

Thank you to all of you who help us learn, grow, and become a better business every day. Here’s to a successful 2019!

RSVP for our upcoming Meet & Greets in January and February.

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NEW! Micro-size orthotic supports

Offer a unique, compact foot comfort solution to your shoe store or medical facility customers.

SoulInsole is a micro-size orthotic support that adds maximum comfort to any shoe. This amazingly small insole adds the perfect amount of arch support to prevent over-pronation and relieve pressure from the heel and forefoot. The revolutionary new design is durable, easy to clean and self-sticking so it can easily be moved from shoe to shoe.

In addition to the insole, the SoulInsole line also includes a unique Heel Wedge, Met Pad and Toe Separator.

Contact us to learn more about SoulInsole and place your order.

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NEW! Orthotics for ESD and children’s footwear

Add to the orthotic selection at your shoe store or medical facility with the new Powerstep ERGO ESD Orthotic, as well as the Powerstep Pinnacle Junior Orthotic, which is specially-designed for children’s footwear.

The Powerstep ERGOShield ESD Orthotic provides full contact electro-static dissipation (ESD) at the heel and ball of foot using conductive fibers threaded throughout the durable top cover. A contoured EVA base with a breathable urethane foam layer offers added cushioning and slight support for all-day comfort. It continuously dissipates static discharge in body to the shoe to the ground. Recommended for use in ESD-approved footwear only.

Pinnacle Junior is a fully cushioned, full support option for children’s footwear, which often lacks sufficient cushioning or support. The dual-layer EVA/VCT® Cushion foam offers full-foot comfort and shock absorption, and the encapsulated polypropylene arch support provides support and improved foot positioning.

Contact us to learn more and place your order.

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Our updated Buyer’s Guide is now available!

JB Buyers Guide 2019

The 6th edition of the Justin Blair & Company Buyer’s Guide features a new online format that makes it easy to navigate to specific product categories (Footwear, Orthopedics, Orthotic Materials, Shoe Care, Shoe Repair Supplies and Shoe Store Supplies), download pages you are interested in, and share pages via email or social media.

Plus, inside the 200-page Buyer’s Guide you’ll find:

  • More than 1,000 new products
  • An all new easier-to-use layout
  • Detailed sizing and color charts
  • All new Shoe Repair Supplies section

Take a look inside and see how our new Buyer’s Guide will help grow your business in the new year.

Print fans, never fear: hard copies of the Buyer’s Guide will be available late January 2019. Contact us to receive a print copy.

Justin Blair & Company 2018 Holiday Hours

Holiday are here—jump for joy

Jump for joy—holidays are here! We want to make you aware of our holiday office and warehouse closures, so that you can plan your orders accordingly.

Justin Blair offices will be closed Monday and Tuesday, December 24-25, as well as Tuesday, January 1—no orders will be processed or shipped on these days.

The last shipping day for 2017 orders is Friday, December 28, so place your order by Thursday, December 27 (based on product availability).

Our annual physical inventory will be conducted Wednesday through Friday, January 2–4, 2019—no orders will be processed or shipped on these days.

Thank you for doing business with us in 2018—we wish you a prosperous year ahead!

P.S. check out our 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for a selection of giftable products that your customers will love for gift-giving and stocking stuffers.

Socks with Purpose: a comprehensive foot pain solution

Socks with Purpose

Socks with Purpose® is an innovative way to offer foot pain solutions to your shoe store or medical facility customers. Orthosleeve—a top brand in leg and foot pain relief—offers a comprehensive medical grade compression sock program that addresses a range of pain issues such as Plantar Fasciitis, bunions, shin splints and achilles tendonitis.

The Socks with Purpose program allows you to choose from four pre-defined packages (featuring 4, 5 or 6 different foot pain relief products) that have been specially-created to maximize sales. Featured products include:

  • FS4 Orthotic Socks address Plantar Fasciitis, arch & heel pain and swelling. Available in three colors.
  • FS4+ Compression Bracing Socks address Plantar Fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, calf pain, shin splints, arch & heel pain and swelling. Available in five colors
  • BR4 Bunion Relief Socks address bunion press, toe friction, bunion pad, Plantar Fasciitis and swelling. Available in two colors.
  • FS6 Foot Bracing Sleeve addresses Plantar Fasciitis, heel & arch pain, achilles tendonitis and swelling. Available in three colors.
  • DS6 Decompression Sleeve addresses severe Plantar Fasciitis and achilles tendonitis. It delivers overnight and resting therapy.

The Socks with Purpose program allows your retail or medical store to be a one-stop-shop for leg and pain relief.

Reach out to us to learn more about the Socks with Purpose program and to create the perfect package.

Tips for protecting shoes in winter weather

It’s that time of year: snow, sleet and slush will be upon us (or should I say, our shoes). Do your customers know how to protect their shoes against winter weather?

Start with a silicone

The first line of defense is an offense: brush on a liquid silicone, like Ralyn Liquid Silicone, which repels water from shoes and keeps leather soft.

Spray on heavy-duty protection

Prepare for the worst winter has to offer with a high-tech weather protector spray like Ralyn Aquatec. A spray is easily applied and thoroughly protects the entire surface of shoes, boots and apparel against rain, snow and slush—it even prevents salt stains. See Ralyn Aquatec in action in this product demo video.

Offer a natural solution

Are customers looking for a natural weather protection solution? A natural beeswax product like Sno Seal protects leather shoes and boots from rain, snow and salt. Regularly applying a wax will also extend the life of your shoes, and it can be used in conjunction with your regular shoe polish.

Take special precautions with suede

Suede shoes are especially susceptible to winter’s effects. Make sure to only use a product especially made for suede, such as Ralyn Suede & Nubuck Aquatec. Note that waxes should not be used on suede.

If you can’t protect ’em—cover ’em

If shoes haven’t been protected or your customer often travels in wet weather, you may want to suggest a pair of overshoes. Made of rubber and 100% waterproof, they fit over dress shoes and provide a physical barrier to moisture, as well as extra traction in wet weather.

And what to do if they do get wet…

If shoes do get wet, let them air dry—don’t use a heat source to dry them. And pack them with newsletter or use a wooden shoe tree to preserve the shape.

A good weather protection program will keep your customers’ shoes looking good throughout the winter season. Come springtime, they will be thanking you!

We carry a full line of weather protection from our in-house brand Ralyn Shoe Care as well as several other high-quality brands. Pick up everything you need for winter at our November 18 or December 16 meet and greets at our Chicago warehouse. RSVP on our Facebook page.