Entrepreneurs Launch Shoe Company with Potential to Improve Millions of Lives
Pandere Shoes joins a growing movement of Alaska-based innovators and entrepreneurs
Pandere shoes feature a patented design that allows for expansion in three different areas of the shoe.
Credit: Pandere Shoes
ANCHORAGE, AK—Pandere Shoes, a startup company founded by Anchorage-based entrepreneurs Laura Oden, Celia Crossett and Ayla Rogers, has created the world’s first closed shoe designed to expand three-dimensionally up to one and a half shoe sizes. More than 23 million women in the United States suffer from swollen feet caused by edema, diabetes, pregnancy, cancer treatment, arthritis and a host of other conditions, with no effective solutions available. Pandere Shoes offer the first stylish, alternative to orthopedic shoes for hard-to-fit feet.
Credit: Pandere Shoes
Pandere's co-founders. From left: Celia Crossett, Laura Oden, and Ayla Rogers.
On April 18, Oden, Crossett and Rogers launched a 30-day Kickstarter campaign with a funding goal of $30,000 as a way to introduce the innovative shoe line to the world and raise funds for production of the first round of shoes for retail sale. They join a growing movement of Alaska-based innovators and entrepreneurs who are reaching national and international audiences with their product.
“The Alaskan innovation ecosystem has realized amazing gains over the last five years as a result of the cumulative impact and investment of many leaders and organizations in this community. And it’s because we all see the value of startups acting as the new economic development plan, from creating jobs to triggering economic growth and generating local revenue,” said Katherine Jernstrom, founder of The Boardroom and fund manager at Alyeska Venture Management. “The launch of Pandere Shoes is a great representation of this, they found a global customer-base looking for a unique solution to their problem and with grit and determination, and a little luck, Pandere will create new jobs and will create new wealth for its employees, owners, investors, vendors, and contractors.”
Pandere’s unique patented shoe design is expandable in three different areas: the toebox, the midfoot and the heel and ankle. The shoes expand up to one-and-a-half sizes in width and volume, yielding ultimate level of comfort without sacrificing one area of comfort for others. Edema, diabetes, pregnancy, arthritis and a host of other conditions can cause one or both feet to swell; many swollen feet sufferers often have to purchase two pairs of shoes in two different sizes. Pandere shoes are designed to expand and adjust separately and in the right places for each individual foot.
“Finding shoes has been a lifelong struggle for me. I’ve had lymphedema for almost 40 years. Turns out, millions of women experience this struggle daily and it’s time to do something about it,” said Laura Oden, co-creator of Pandere. “We turned to Kickstarter because we saw ourselves on the leading edge of something that could impact millions of lives. We’ve heard the stories and silent struggles of women all around the world with this problem, and we decided it was time to give them a voice and let them be heard.”
Pandere shoes are more attractive and stylish than orthopedic or extra wide shoe options on the market, allowing for women to wear them around town or in a corporate setting. The shoes are made of high-quality leather and neoprene to accommodate feet of all shapes and sizes. Pandere shoes adjust to the wearer’s feet, rather than them having to fit into constricting footwear sold in traditional stores.