Monday, 1 February 2016

Adidas: Designed just for Women

"Most athletic footwear designed for women is adapted from athletic footwear designed for men" ... although the anatomy of women's feet differs from that of men's feet. Anatomy and the fact that more and more women are running marathons and hence are "attractive customers" (in the U.K., for instance, women's participation in marathon races increased by 12% while men's participation decreased by 13%) are the reasons why - after three years of development and 100 prototypes - Adidas has now introduced the "PureBoost X", a running shoe designed and developed for women.

Research on differences between men's and women's feet started about twenty years ago. Improving women's athletic gears, however, is still a research field that is neglected - particularly in comparison to research on men's equipment.
"It’s only lately [in sportswear development] that if you have 200 subjects, that you have 100 female and 100 male. Typically you have 200 males." Benno Nigg, professor emeritus of kinesiology
Women's feet tend to have narrower heels and higher arches than men's feet. According to motion-capture research carried out by Adidas, they also experience more expansion in the forefoot and midfoot as there is more movement in the Achilles area around the heel. The running shoe developed with women in mind has a sock-like mesh upper that is not entirely attached to the sole to make sure there is more open space around the woman's arch (via, viavia).

photographs via and via