Running shoe gel cushioning optimization

Serafim Chatzimoisiadis (BETA CAE Systems S.A.)

CHALLENGE - Being a periodic motion, running generates transient forces that measure up to 2.5 times the athlete’s body mass. The transition of these loads to the runner’s lower extremities is mitigated only by appropriate footwear. Recent studies have introduced Finite Element (FE) modelling as an alternative to experimentation, in an attempt to expedite the evaluation of this in situ load transfer.

SOLUTION - This research introduces a dynamic FE model of a running shoe, considering time varying plantar pressure distributions and boundary conditions. The model is used to suggest improvements of material allocation within the midsole system of the shoe. The size and position of the embedded gel-based cushioning system are examined in an optimization case.

BENEFITS - The aim of this optimization case is to improve the stability and comfort of the runner, while amplifying the energy absorption abilities of the running shoe.