Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a model that predicts the performance of runners depending on certain shoe parameters.
Until now, there was no way to quickly and easily determine the fit of a running shoe for a runner. The new model aims to change this by taking into account body measurements such as height and weight as well as shoe characteristics such as stiffness and cushioning of the midsole.
Simulations can be used to determine how the running movement changes in a particular shoe model. The optimal running shoe can then be selected based on the minimized energy expended.
According to MIT researcher Sarah Fay, the model is particularly suitable for shoe designers to develop new models with better performance. In the long term, however, a user-friendly version for end customers is also conceivable: “At some point, we could 3D print the perfect running shoe for you based on a running video.”
The model is based on a simplified mechanical simulation of running dynamics. The accuracy is currently still limited, meaning that similar shoe models can hardly be distinguished. However, further development should also make it easier for consumers to choose the right running shoe.