It is with profound sadness that Northwest Podiatric Laboratory announces the passing of beloved Founder and President Dennis Brown.

“Dennis has been the heart and soul of Northwest Podiatric Laboratory since 1964,” said Ruben Valle, CEO. “He lived and worked by a strict set of core values: responsibility, respect, honesty, integrity and fairness; all of us at Northwest Podiatric Laboratory are beneficiaries of Dennis’ vision and entrepreneurial spirit.”

Born in 1925, Brown lived a full and impactful life. He escaped desperate circumstances in war-torn London by joining the British Army in 1941 at the age of sixteen. A two-decade career in the British, and then Canadian Army ensued. Along the way, Brown’s athletic abilities afforded a scholarship offer for track and field and a spot on England’s Olympic Boxing Team (unfortunately, the army would not release him to pursue either opportunity).

Following his military career, Brown landed in Vancouver, Canada where his gift for solving problems and a chance meeting with a podiatrist would spark a passion that became his life’s work for the next 60 years. Beginning with the purchase of Northwest Podiatric Laboratory in 1964 and bolstered by the addition of renowned podiatrist, Dr. Chris Smith, in the 1970’s, Brown developed proprietary production techniques and technology for crafting biomechanically superior custom foot orthotics using advanced materials like carbon fiber. Identifying the need for more affordable foot pain solutions, Brown and Smith then established Superfeet to provide insoles to the public. In the decades that followed, Northwest Podiatric Laboratory and Superfeet established themselves as two of the most respected companies in their field.

Brown was responsible for more than 60 product patents and, staying true to his mantra of “Improve one-eighth of one percent every week,” he could be found in his research and development lab well into his 80’s. His curious mind and passion for invention never wavered.

Inspired by his own fight for survival in wartime London as a young man, Brown and his wife, Audrey, established numerous scholarship programs for deserving students. A man of legendary generosity, Brown touched an incalculable number of people – extending his reach far beyond the tens of millions of people who wear insoles and orthotics he developed or inspired.

Brown is survived by his wife, friends from around the globe and, hundreds of Northwest Podiatric Laboratory employees past and present.



Northwest Podiatric Laboratory is the leader in the design and manufacture of premium custom foot orthotics. Located off the beaten path in the far northwest corner of Washington State, we’ve always been a little outside the mainstream with obsessively high standards and outside-the-box thinking. Dennis Brown, a retired British soldier, elite athlete, and natural-born inventor founded the company in 1964 and was joined by a pioneer in the biomechanics of the foot, Dr. Chris Smith, in 1974. With an exclusive blend of science, craftsmanship and innovation, we 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

< Back to Currents