H. Darrel Darby, DPM, founded DARCO International in 1985 after growing frustrated with the design and performance of the wooden sole post op shoes that dominated the market at that time.

He began experimenting with the idea of incorporating running shoe technology into post op shoe design and the result was the DARCO MedSurg™ Shoe, the first post operative shoe to incorporate a semi-rigid sole design for greater patient comfort and faster healing. In the more than twenty years since the launch of the MedSurg™ Shoe it has become the shoe of choice for foot and ankle surgeons around the world.

During the next eighteen years his leadership was instrumental in helping the company establish itself as one of the strongest foot and ankle brands in the USA and Europe. The company opened a distribution center in Diessen, Germany, in 1992 and rapidly developed into the leading provider of surgical solutions to the German foot & ankle community. At the same time the company invested heavily in expanding its ISO certified manufacturing operations in China to expand both its production and distribution capabilities.

Throughout his career, Dr. Darby was a staunch supporter of education and from day one insisted that a designated portion of DARCO’s sales be used to fund student scholarships. He was later involved in establishing international seminars that have grown to become the largest foot & ankle symposia in Germany.

On November 18, 2003, Dr. Darby died after a long battle with cancer. In 2004 he was posthumously awarded the “Distinguished Service Citation”, the highest honor bestowed by the APMA, in recognition of his contributions to the profession of podiatry.