Meet the Minnesota Orthopedic Surgeon Behind Julieta Shoes

Fernando Peña, MD (left), and Julie Thompson, MD, MPH (right),

Fernando Peña, MD, assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, was recently featured in an article by Artful Living on his journey to developing Julieta—a more comfortable high-heel shoe brand with his wife, Julie Thompson, MD, MPH. 

Through his career of caring for patients with foot and ankle problems, Peña used his expertise in foot mechanics to create Julieta’s innovative shoe base—one he developed using the latest research in biometrics. Originally from Spain, he also leaned into his heritage and personal knowledge of traditional Spanish shoemaking. 

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"I have been an orthopedic surgeon specializing in foot and ankle problems for 20+ years and have acquired tremendous knowledge of foot biomechanics and how different scenarios change the demands on feet," Peña said. "I have a very good understanding of what the foot needs when it is in a heeled shoe. The foot mechanics change drastically when you wear a high-heeled shoe, and if the pressure points are not addressed, the shoe will become very painful to wear within an hour or so."

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