Biomechanics, the door to a technological shoe.

Biomechanics Air Tubeless The biomechanics is not only exclusive for professional athletes or sport running shoes. The shoe manufactures are designing new technologies to develop new comfort shoes for daily use. They don’t keep their innovations at home, but instead they are exporting them overseas.

Juan Carlos González, director of innovation clothing markets and footwear biomechanics institute of Valencia (IBV), explains that the biomechanics is a scientific discipline which studies the human being mechanical structures. analyzing “how the body, tissues, forces and movements works mechanically, so the footwear can be adapted as best as possible”.

All this, for example helps that a professional runner gains some important seconds to beat a score, but it also helps to make the casual shoes flexible so they don’t cause rubs or other bothersome pains . Elderly people can walk safely with comfort and modern footwear and women can avoid pains in the plantar zones of the foot during the pregnancy. Even the babies can walk their first steps with some special crawling boots. Comfort is something subjective. That’s why the biomechanics applied to the footwear can objectively quantify the comfort level of a shoe, and predict the comfort grade, explains Josep María Font, Director of the biomechanics investigation center division and biomechanics engineering (CREB) in the Cataluña Polytechnic University (UPC). The investigators design complex tests in their laboratories with sophisticated equipment which includes instruments with sensors, forces plates and camera systems, such as the ones used in the cinema studios and games developers to capture the movements of the actors. The requirements are very similar to the sport footwear and the casual footwear. In the end, the point is to design an interior volume that works perfectly with the foot, with no excessive pressure. For all this, special functional test are developed, where the users interact with the shoes. Functional aspects are keep in mind, such as the adjustment, pressure distribution, shocking absorbing impacts, movements adaptation and frictions. All these aspects will affect in the comfort perception of the consumer.

Differentiate from the competitors

The biomechanics is involved in all the phases during the manufacturing process since the initial concept. This way can provide us with ideas about how to develop new innovative systems to improve the functional aspects. Starting with the first idea or even before that, what are the footwear needs for the elderly people or the babies who are learning to walk, explains Juan Carlos González from the IBV. From the conceptual design to the design in detail and to the selection of the different materials, or even in the manufacturing process, to check which is the best process to solve a problem or to make the product more comfortable for the community or to a specific use. “Therefore you can test a product that is already produced or help different companies to improve the message to the consumer(..) all the cycle”, concludes González.

The innovation as a factor to differ. Ramón Urdaniz, commercial Director at SEMIC explains that nowadays there are many people trying to develop different things from their competitors”. SEMIC is a company located in Navarra which manufactures footwear moulds since 1965. Their technologies are pioneer all around the world. Two of them, DOUBLE FLEXION and AIR TUBELESS, came from the biomechanics.

AIR TUBELESS is a hollow rubber sole developed in collaboration with INESCOP (Footwear Technological Institute). This system provides a comfort sensation similar to walking on soft grass, it also reduces the plantar pressures and impact forces.

Spanish brand such as Pikolinos and 24 Hrs are using this system in some of their products, the first shoes were launched to the market in winter 2012.

Furthermore, Semic has achieve to export this revolutionary Technology to shoe manufactures in Turkey, Mexico, Germany, France and Italy. On the other side, the DOUBLE FLEXION technology was recently developed in collaboration with the IBV ( technical footwear Institute). This technology is a sole system which allows to make flexible the classic shoes, including the ones with leather soles. Is apt for women shoes, men shoes, child shoes, work and sport shoes.

Mexican Brands such as Emyco (casual) and Dogi (child) are already using this system. The Spanish brand Panter, which is specialized in work shoes has finished their first prototypes. The IBV has a wide experience in biomechanics projects related to the footwear world. One of their projects was developed for Kelme, for soccer footwear, with an specific distribution of the cleats for artificial grass. They have also tested running shoes for the brand The North Face. The IBV has also helped to design women anatomic footwear patterns for the brand Scholl and patterns of different materials such as viscose-elastic for the products of Piesanto, which are focus to the elderly people. The collaboration with the Spanish manufacturer Garvalín is also important, designing and developing specific product lines for babies such as Biogateo or Bioevolución for Childs.

Source: El Confidencial (

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