OPT-SHOES: A Design Support Tool for Comfort Footwear

This is a computer-aided engineering tool for supporting the design of footwear with desired comfort characteristics. It uses sole models and a realistic foot biomodel. When standing and walking, ground forces act on the body through the sole of the shoe. Comfort can first be assessed in terms of pressure (force) distribution on the lower surface of the foot. High pressures indicate potential discomfort. Bending and torsional behaviour of the footwear sole during walking are also critical. Different end uses of the footwear dictate various energy levels for sole bending and twisting. With this application, the designer can calculate stiffness levels and compare models to typical soles on the market.

Analyses cover most types of occupational and low casual shoes subject to the effects of walking - standing positions (heel contact, mid-position and push-off position).

The sole is considered as a structure consisting of up to three major parts: the outer (lower) part that is in contact with the ground, the midsole part and the inner (upper) sole in contact with the foot. Several combinations of materials can be assigned to the layers of the sole for detailed assessment of forces that appear and energy required for bending and torsion

The application can also estimate combinations of materials for a desired mechanical behaviour (known as model optimization). The user enters details of the layer thicknesses and the class of stiffness and the application identifies the best material combinations.

More info: http://optshoes.syros.aegean.gr/

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