The reason why our shoes are so comfortable for work

Our partnership with Salford Uni, a leading research centre in biomechanics, provides us with serious insight into the impact of pain at work and how we can make changes in our material, ergonomics and features for all-day long comfort.  

Our knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) with Salford University has allowed us to have access to their professors' knowledge at the university, and to their labs where we can test different types of footwear, different materials for muscle fatigue, muscle activation, and most importantly plantar pressure. So we transfer their knowledge with our knowledge of creating comfortable work shoes to bring you the benefits.

The Science of Biomechanics
 
Biomechanics is a big part of what we learn from the experts Professor Christopher Nester and Carina Price.  
 
What does this even mean?
 
Well, biomechanics is just the forces and motion of the human body and the impact of external and internal factors. So, how can we use biomechanics to make super comfortable work shoes? It helps us to understand the demands working life puts on the body, find risk factors for injury and understand what external factors, like shoes, can have on the body. From there, we can then find what we need to change to make our work shoes really comfortable.
Tiny Changes = Huge Impact
 
From our partnership, we’ve learned that tiny increments of movement and change that develops within your musculoskeletal system, can create a huge impact to how you feel when you’ve on your feet all day. The changes are so small that they can’t be seen with the eye only through our research.
What do we actually measure?
 
There are a variety of metrics and datasets that we measure to ensure we are capturing as much data as possible, here are some of the measure we use:
 
  • Movement, in particular work place movements - static standing, weight shifting, shuffling, walking, and sitting.
  • Muscle Activity, is measured using electrodes inserted through the skin into the muscle which measures muscle activity in response to a nerve's stimulation of the muscle.
  • Ground Reaction Forces (GRF), is used during gait analysis to reveal the smallest changes of the gait pattern or shifts in the centre of gravity.
  • Plantar Pressure is measured using an in-shoe insole attached to a pressure reader, this points up any pain points on the bottom of the foot, including anywhere the foot is rubbing against the shoe. This is very helpful to analyse what shoe shape, material, density works for people with different foot types so we can make sure that we get the shoe just right for you.
  • Comfort Data is a collection of data that we collect from wearers or our testers that give us data about the comfort which is then analysed to see how we can improve.
  • Foot Shape/Size is a big part of our research is testing many of these other measures on different foot shapes and sizes. We know that we don’t all have the same feet so it’s so important to us to make sure we have something for everybody.
  • Foot Posture/Structure - we also analyse different foot postures and structures which is used when creating our footwear to ensure that we can support a natural posture and that the structure of your foot is supported in the way it needs to be.
Our Customer Panel
 
We have a group of 180+ members who spend all day on their feet at work and take part in our research. This can be anything from taking part in a trial of a new product, voting on designs of new concepts or taking part in a focus group.