June 29, 2017

Our Story

"You always have to be looking for new ideas and innovations and you have to do it right, don't cut corners.  That's what we've been doing for all these years, and that's what made us successful."


From Humble Beginnings

In 1964 when Dennis Brown – retired British soldier, elite athlete and natural-born inventor – bought a fledgling custom orthotics lab, he could not have imagined the impact he would make on millions of people around the world.
He set out on a quest to reinvent how orthotics were made, and hand-crafted solutions for amputee war vets, invented a revolutionary casting method and pioneered a process to make orthotics out of aerospace materials...things no one else thought to do or didn’t believe could be done.
In 1974, inspired to push the boundaries further, Dennis invited Dr. Chris Smith, a professor at the California College of Podiatric Medicine, to be his partner. One of an elite group of pioneers in the emerging field of foot biomechanics, Chris brought instant credibility andinvaluable knowledge to the development of products and customer care.
Their Mission
The partners shared a passion to eliminate foot pain for as many people as possible, and with their exclusive blend of science, craftsmanship and innovation, set out to perfect Northwest’s custom products. Using carbon fiber and proprietary production techniques that took years to perfect, they produced orthotics with a unique shape and unparalleled performance.
While Dennis and Chris helped countless celebrities over the years, most notable was Jerry Seinfeld. At the peak of his hit television show in the mid-90’s Seinfeld called the Lab looking for help. So impressed after traveling to Blaine, WA to have his orthotics made, he encouraged them to use his story to promote Northwest. An ensuing friendship landed Dennis, Chris and their wives with invitations to a number of Seinfeld shows, including an appearance in the final episode, which was exclusively for family and close friends.
Northwest Today
Northwest is now synonymous with out-of-the-box thinking, the relentless pursuit of revolutionary ideas, materials and technology, and exceptional customer care. This innovative spirit demands constant improvement of a dedicated team who, through the years of specialized training, know orthotics like nobody else. Northwest craftsmen shape every plane and countour for a perfect, tailored fit, every time. They are, quite simply, the best in the business.
It’s been over 50 years since Dennis purchased Northwest, and he and Chris estimate they have worked on over a million feet and created more than 40 international patents related to orthotic devices and processes. Today, inbued by Dennis’ and Chris’ belief in biomechanics, original ideas, artisanship and hard work, Northwest employees carry a deep sense of pride in their origins, their craft and their ability to help people today and for generations to come.
Northwest Podiatric Laboratory is an industry leader in custom foot orthotic and related technologies.  Dennis Brown, a retired British soldier, elite athlete and natural-born inventor founded the company in 1964 and was joined by a biomechanics pioneer, Dr. Chris Smith, in 1974.  With an excluisve blend of science, craftsmanship and innovation, the partners have built a company that utilizes proprietary production techniques and technology to produce orthotics with a unique shape and unparalleled performance.  Northwest Podiatric Laboratory has helped over a million people suffering from foot pain to lead better, pain-free lives.  Learn more at