Our Story

The Spark of an Idea

OrthoLite started in 1997 when our founder Glenn Barrett, a lifelong footwear entrepreneur, had identified a need that had long been overlooked in the footwear industry combined with a timely flash of inspiration. Glenn knew the interior environment of the shoe had not been addressed and while on a sourcing trip to Taiwan, he was introduced to an innovative new open-cell PU foam that was the ideal technology to solve the problems occurring inside the shoe. Seeing its remarkable characteristics, he realized it would make the perfect insole solution—outperforming other materials in every measurable way. He got to work and formulated his first batch of prototypes—making a better insole that was more comfortable, but one that also provided a cooler, drier, and healthier interior environment of the shoe that was also easier on the planet by using 5% recycled outsole rubber waste material in the mix. Glenn created a new category over 20 years ago, and today OrthoLite is widely recognized as the world leader in branded comfort technologies.

Branded Insole

Before OrthoLite®, insole materials were just generic commodity foams —a basic filler material that didn’t breathe, flattened out quickly and caused sweat and odors to accumulate. We created a solution that shoe manufacturers and consumers sought out. The OrthoLite brand became widely applauded and acknowledged as the leading comfort solution. The top footwear brands wanted to be associated with the OrthoLite brand. When people experienced our insoles, they immediately felt the difference. There was no going back. A new category was born—high-performance comfort insoles—and we secured our place as the enduring category leader. Today over 350 brands choose OrthoLite and over half of these industry leaders choose to co-brand with OrthoLite.

Game Changer

Almost at once, OrthoLite® foam captured the attention of the footwear industry’s leading brands. The proprietary open-cell foam formulations provided lightweight cushioning, low compression set, moisture management, breathability, washability and odor-control. We had a hit on our hands—and footwear suddenly got much, much more comfortable.

Vertical Integration

Knowing how critical it was to maintain complete control of our products, we grew as a 100% vertically integrated company—building our own factories and maintaining 100% control over the entire process from formulation to distribution. We launched our first factory in Dongguan, China—letting us provide our brand partners with unmatched consistency, quality and on-time delivery. As a fully integrated Systems House we create every custom formulation in house, made exclusively with our own compounds, to meet our brand partner’s precise specifications.

Innovation Through Collaboration

Pretty soon we were manufacturing insoles for nearly every leading footwear brand. OrthoLite® became their trusted ally—true partners working together to create groundbreaking solutions across all footwear categories. Whatever they wanted, our chemists, engineers and designers delivered.

Today

Now as much as ever, OrthoLite® is the undisputed category leader. Today we’re the insole supplier of choice for over 350 leading footwear brands—manufacturing OrthoLite technologies that can be found in more than 500 million pairs of footwear a year. As a U.S.-owned and operated company with production facilities in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and elsewhere globally we’re able to work alongside our brand partners wherever they manufacture shoes—creating breakthrough, sustainable formulations that deliver greater comfort and performance than ever before.

Fast Facts

Global Category Leader

Based in Amherst, MA. OrthoLite® is an American company that creates sustainable, customized open-cell foam formulations that deliver a combination of benefits unmatched by any other insole manufacturer.

Total Control

We own every facet of creation, production and distribution—from our patented formulations, to our manufacturing facilities, to our unrivaled customer service to shipping.

500 Million Pairs a Year

Our open-cell foam technology is the insole material of choice for virtually every leading footwear brand around the world—galvanizing our position as the global manufacturer, supplier and category leader.

Always Eco

From our very first insole in 1997, every formulation has contained 5% recycled rubber waste material, the use of recycled rubber keeps over 300 metric tons of rubber waste out of landfills annually. Many of our insoles are also created with our patented bio-oil formulation and varying levels of recycled materials from our own post production waste. In 2018 OrthoLite developed a dedicated R&D facility to further close the loop and improve our sustainable best practices across manufacturing and in the creation of more eco-friendly products.

Beyond Footwear

Our exclusive foam technologies can also be custom formulated for use in a broad range of applications beyond footwear such as sporting equipment, backpacks and activewear—offering unrivaled comfort and performance.

Everywhere Shoes are Made

With sales offices in the United States, Asia and Europe and manufacturing facilities in China, Vietnam and Indonesia we work directly with our brand partners face-to-face, creating game-changing solutions and delivering the highest level of customer service and onetime delivery unparalleled by any other supplier.

Comfort & Performance

DRIVEN BY INNOVATION

We’re fueled by innovation, a deep understanding of our brand partners’ needs, true collaboration, and a dedication to limiting our impact on the planet—and it shows in every product we make. That’s how we became the global leader, and why we’re proud to partner with the best brands on earth.