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The Dutch store Scapino sells a line of shoes that have received the "Dr. Visser Seal of Approval". The claim on their website states (translated from the original Dutch):

Scapino has used the Dr. Visser Seal of Approval for children's shoes for nearly 15 years. A guarantee for quality! What many people don't know is that Dr. Visser actually exists. Dr. Jan Visser is an orthopaedic surgeon and when it comes to feet, they hold no secrets to Dr. Visser.

Dr. Visser advises Scapino on making good children's shoes. Only shoes made according to the recommendations of orthopaedic surgeon Visser, receive the Dr. Visser Seal of Approval. To this day still, all children's shoes are judged by him personally.

Dr. Visser: "Of course the health of your child is important to you. You only want the best of the best. Children's shoes with the Dr. Visser Seal of Approval guarantee you getting the quality you expect. A comforting thought!"

An image showing the four claims made by the Dr. Visser Seal of Approval

The text in this image translates:

Children's shoes with the Dr. Visser Seal of Approval always conform to 4 requirements:

  • Material: Quality shoes made out of leather or canvas
  • Lining: The lining is always made out of leather
  • Fitting: enough toe-room and firm around the heel
  • Sole: Flexible sole for a correct foot settlement (I'm unsure of the correct translation of "voetafwikkeling")

Are these four requirements sufficient to ensure a good children's shoe?

Do these requirements ensure a proper stance and gait, reduce risk of injuries, and protect or improve the health of the wearer? (Which, according to their statement, is important to the parents which in turn suggests it is improved or protected by wearing these shoes).

Also, are they necessarily better than most other children's shoes for sale, which is not claimed outright but certainly suggested?


†: This claim is made by the store selling these shoes, so I included a link to the claim (in Dutch) on the store website. So while I'm linking to the store, I hope it's clear that this is not meant to be spam.

‡: I'd like to narrow this down to specific claims, but unfortunately their claim doesn't get more specific then "these are good children's shoes because of these four requirements".


Edited to add that, as noted in a comment,

(...) Dr. Visser exists. He is orthopedic surgeon at the Wilhelmina Hospital in Assen, The Netherlands, and professor in childrens' orthopedics at the University Medical Center in Groningen. Here is the Dutch CV on his own website, and author of several book on the subject (same site). His CV states he helped develop the childrens' shoe line for Scapino.

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    As you have noted, the text doesn't actually make the specific claims you are asking about. All that it claims is 1) an expert reviewed the shoes 2) the shoes are good 3) the shoes meet four requirements. #3 is not connected to any actual claims about children's health. I don't see a notable claim here. – user11522 Oct 2 '15 at 11:10
  • Define good. It was my understanding that barefoot is generally found to be an improvement over shoe wearing, and that shoes and the fancy bells and whistles they add to shoes are typically just hokus pokus designed to give them a reason to charge you more. skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/16522/… skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/4765/… – Jonathon Oct 6 '15 at 4:59

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