František Kocourek


This exhibition presents a collection of material from the estate of Baťa's first Chiropodist.

„As part of our continuing drive to perfect our services for our customers and the public, we have established a medical and scientific foot care division at the Baťa Hospital in Zlin...”

T. Baťa, 1929


The history of chiropody services in the Baťa company

At the instigation of Tomáš Baťa, the first foot care centre opened in a Baťa store in Zlin on July 10, 1928. The service was quickly introduced in many other stores in the company's retail network.

We must begin to look after our feet. We know from experience that people typically do not do this even though it should be part of our basic hygiene. Thousands of people suffer needlessly from painful feet because they are ashamed to seek advice from experts, in spite of the fact that there are many such experts in developed countries. Therefore we have taken it upon ourselves to make this service readily available to our customers.



František Kocourek

František Kocourek joined the Baťa company in 1928. Tomáš Baťa gave him the task of spearheading the company's entry into the business of foot care and the title of official Chiropody Instructor.

In that capacity, Mr. Kocourek was responsible for training foot care specialists in Czechoslovakia and overseas, and for preparing instruction manuals. His postings abroad included Yugoslavia and France, where he spent four months based at the factory in Hellocourt. In the course of his work, he acquired an impressive list of famous clients. During World War II he was sent to work in a clinic in Berlin where he met, among others, Reinhard Heydrich, Joseph Goebbels and Eva Braun.



Baťa's Chiropody Instructor attracts a roster of famous clients

Lída Baarová, Nataša Gollová, Hana Vítová, Adina Mandlová, Ladislav Boháč...


Chiropody in the Baťa company

Chiropody treatment booths

The introduction of foot care services in Baťa's footwear department stores brought the practise into the mainstream of Czech life.


„Our chiropody service represents an entirely new chapter in the history of shoe-making and a great leap forward in the history of humankind...”

J. A. Baťa, 1933

Chiropody in the Baťa company

Chiropody training programmes

With the introduction of professional, medically-supervised training programmes, chiropody has gradually gained acceptance as an essential form of preventive health care.

The chiropodist - caregiver of healthy, tired and defective feet - can only be effective if he is properly trained. The human foot is not only a mechanism ingeniously designed by nature, it is also an integral part of the human body. The blood of the foot runs through the human heart, the nerves of the foot are connected to the spinal cord and the brain. For these reasons we consider the task of the chiropodist to be of the highest responsibility and seriousness, bordering directly on the tasks of a doctor. To understand the human foot, to understand its needs, requires concentrated effort and great diligence.

MUDr. B. Albert


Chiropody in the Baťa company

Letters from satisfied customers

Not only my husband and I, but my entire family, are very pleased with the care you give to your customers. Having lived for years in Paris, I have many French friends who made use of your foot care services as soon as they arrived Czechoslovakia and were delighted with them.

Thanks to your foot treatment my large, painful corns have almost disappeared. The thick, hard skin on my feet and ingrown toe nails could not be treated due to my ill health, but they no longer bother me. I am very satisfied and have already recommended your services to all my friends.

I am very satisfied, both with the foot treatment and the massages that I almost always have during my visits. I had sprained my foot and the massages helped me a great deal. They were more effective than the 15 heat treatments that I received elsewhere.

I feel invigorated after having my feet treated at your establishment. My feet feel greatly strengthened and walking has become pleasant and easy. I felt refreshed even during the treatment itself. I have resolved to recommend your service to anyone suffering from foot problems.