SLO Motion Shoes at the 2015 Footwear Biomechanics Symposium – Liverpool, England

SLO Motion Shoes is excited to incorporate the latest findings in footwear research presented at the 12th Footwear Biomechanics Symposium held in Liverpool, England. This biannual meeting of the Footwear Biomechanics Group offers a forum for the discussion of clinical, athletic, and other functional footwear among more than 300 members of industry from across the world. Many top athletic companies were present including New Balance, Asics, Brooks Running, and Nike all offering feedback. Top universities were also present showing their most up to date research, with the most notable being the University of Calgary who has one of the most prestigious biomechanics doctorate programs on the planet.

Relevant research was shown throughout the three days of congress with topics being decided into specific categories including Aging and Chronic Disease, Shoe Stiffness, and Plantar Pressure. SLO Motion Shoes was excited to see ideas very similar to what are currently being implemented in the store being tested and discussed to a degree in presentations. An example of a presentation which directly relates to the SLO Motion Shoes setting was “Relationship between Hallux Valgus and plantar force transformation among metatarsal regions”. This study revealed that subjects suffering fro Hallux Valgus transfer load away from the 1st metatarsal and shift it towards the 2nd through 5th metatarsals to a degree. This study reveals why patients suffering from Hallux Valgus typically suffer from other conditions effecting the ball of the foot including Capsulitis and Neuromas. One can go as far as to prescribe specific shoes and orthotics to Hallux Valgus patients to relieve pressure to the metatarsal heads as a way to prevent callusing and other injuries.

The future of the footwear industry and of footwear biomechanics research was also discussed during this year’s symposium. Research validation by different teams was a prominent topic in the research field as research must be conducted multiple times with the same results for a definite conclusion be reached. This will weed out outliers and will give solid data to use for further research or product development. The footwear industry’s future was also discussed to a lesser degree during the symposium. It is understandable that companies do not want to openly discuss their future work in a room full of competitors, but one topic which came up repeatedly was mass customization. Companies lightly discussed the type of mass customization that they thought would be marketable but it seemed like there was a focus on the midsole. Companies talked about 3D printing of midsoles which as of now is reserved for sprint spikes and cleats. 3D printing midsoles could be the next step in what is now custom orthotics. The concept of personalizing a midsole is still years away as the printing process, material use, and construction parameters still need to be worked on. It will be interesting to see how this develops and if in a few years time we will be able to walk into a shoe store and have a true personalized shoe be produced in an adequate amount of time and at a reasonable cost.

We are confident the research presented along with ongoing collaboration with Footwear Biomechanics Group members will help us provide the best service possible to our customers dealing with painful conditions. We will be announcing exciting cutting edge projects in the coming weeks that we can’t wait to share with everyone.