Interview with Mike Sotak, CEO of FitBeyond, an online company specializing in products that provide support and stability for adults who are passionate about staying active.

You have several decades of experience in healthcare manufacturing and marketing, and you own a company that makes medical devices. What led you to create FitBeyond?

I started FitBeyond to provide professional clinical-level solutions directly, and at affordable prices, to anyone with a desire to maintain an active lifestyle, regardless of age.

I’ve always been interested in the medical field, and I’ve spent a good part of my career helping market products to meet the needs of orthotic and prosthetic healthcare professionals. These experts prescribe and recommend products every day for patient rehabilitation and therapy, and working with them gave me a lot of insight into the particular product features that deliver the best results.

Over the past couple of decades, I’ve seen the number of “over-the-counter,” nonprescription orthotic and support products mushroom as the population of consumers over 50 has become more active and increased. The sheer volume of items displayed in stores and available online can be overwhelming and confusing to folks who are just looking for extra support because they work on their feet all day or who aren’t sure where to look for solutions to help them continue being active — walking, playing sports or simply moving without pain. Plus, there is variable quality. As a result, many times, people end up buying products that just don’t do the job.

Why is having the right kind of support for activity important for people in the 50-plus age group?

In my own experience, it’s all about having the comfort and confidence to perform the activities I enjoy. As we age, prior injuries may impact our ability to perform certain activities we want to do.  Competing as a college football athlete, I sustained a few injuries, along with a lot of stress on my joints. I loved playing, and I’ve continued to be active all my life. Golf, tennis, biking, and walking are my sports of choice these days, and I often rely on bracing and support products to help me perform at an optimal level and avoid potential injury. These products allow me to move without pain and help with quicker recovery.

When it hurts to participate in your favorite activity or sport, or if you worry about injuring yourself every time you go out for a jog or swing a racket, you’re probably not going to do it as often, if at all. Reducing how much you exercise doesn’t just have a negative impact on your physical health; it’s also depressing to feel like you aren’t able to do the things you love as much as you used to.

Having the most appropriate and effective shoes and other support items for the activities you enjoy restores confidence in movement, and that puts the joy back in being active.

Tell us a bit about how FitBeyond chooses the products you offer your customers.

Our goal is to save people time and eliminate the headaches of trial-and-error searching for precisely the right solution for their specific issues, whether it’s footwear, insoles, compression items, braces or other support. We do the work for them. Our experienced team assesses and pre-screens each product before placing it on our website, and we limit the selection to only the top-quality products from leading brands.

Each item must pass a rigorous, three-part review. It must be a product frequently recommended by doctors, orthopedic specialists, or other medical experts for comfort, stability, and support. The item must utilize a science-based design tested and proven to deliver superior results. Finally, the product must be made by a brand with an industry reputation for quality, reliability, and demonstrated commitment to consumer education.

One good example is our popular YDA shoes. YDA stands for “Your Daily Activity.” These were developed by a medical device company in Italy, which based the design on a successful post-op boot it manufactured. The shoes are not only stylish, but they also incorporate serious biomechanical technology, such as an innovative rocker sole for movement control and a unique spring system that reduces impact pressure and allows the wearer to propel forward with less effort. The overall result is decreased fatigue and more energized movement.

What’s your vision for FitBeyond over the next several years? 

We’re committed to becoming the preferred online destination consumers know they can trust as a source of quality solutions that work to help them stay active. Even beyond that, we want to be champions for our customers, supporting them all the way in maintaining their ideal level of fitness and attaining their active lifestyle goals, as simple or ambitious as they may be. We have access to the best products available to medical professionals and will offer consumers the most appropriate and proven solutions through FitBeyond.

Where can people find out more about FitBeyond?

You can check out our specially selected products at

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