In 2012 we started designing Redbacks Cushioning Technology for use as a midsole in a wide variety of shoes, trainers, walking and safety boots. An eminent team of podiatrists, biomechanical engineers and designers worked in collaboration to successfully create a midsole that delivers unrivalled comfort together with outstanding scientifically proven results.
In June 2014 the midsole design successfully completed the scientific and human testing ‘Proof of Concept’ at Staffordshire University in the United Kingdom. The midsole was tested against diabetic footwear, being the most demanding test possible. The results are now being used in the development of regular footwear.
Licensing opportunities for manufacturers now available.
The way we move
The foot normally takes up three distinct phases as we walk. Each of these phases places differing demands on the foot and in turn the shoe. Most footwear and midsoles currently available in the market are incapable of dealing with these demands.
The first phase is heel strike or initial contact. The requirements of the shoe are to reduce the impact forces or the collision of the heel with the ground. Most shoes tend to concentrate on this to the detriment of the following 2 phases.
The second phase is when the whole foot is flat on the ground. At this stage the arches of the foot deform under load and store as much energy as possible in an attempt to reduce the energy required to keep the body moving forward. An ideal shoe at this stage should be mimicking this energy storage both mechanically and by facilitating the ability of the foot to do this.
The third phase is the toe off or propulsive phase. It is imperative that the person’s body weight moves smoothly and quickly through this stage as there can be 2-3 times body weight going through the forefoot alone. The heel and arches are no longer active so the midsole needs to facilitate this action.
The majority of the current midsoles use a homogenous single piece of material that is mostly incapable of meeting the biomechanical demands of the foot and in turn the whole body during walking.
The ‘Redbacks®’ midsole can be engineered to act independently at each phase by designing the leaf springs, cell geometry, wall thickness and shore hardness to provide an optimised shoe.
The shape of the foot
The shape of the base of the foot can be related to the shape of a leaf spring. To support and complement this shape, the Redbacks® unique design works in such a way not to create conflict and to enhance comfort.
This gentle design which incorporates structures to mimic flexible leaf springs is capable of (1) Energy Return (2) Reduction of impact forces (3) Increased comfort.
The Redbacks® midsole discretely achieves all of the above due to its internal engineering. Existing midsole components and footwear use homogenous materials which means that any structural changes can only be done by adding extra components or different materials.
However, with Redbacks® some of these functional capabilities can be achieved by minor design modifications within the midsole giving the shoe a slimmer and more elegant appearance.
International Patent Application No. PCT/EP2013/060341 - Article of Footwear.