Google+

BBC Future

Advertisement Feature
PRESENTED BY
Virtual Realities

The second skin

Can a new era in material design push athletes to ever greater limits?

It’s a stark fact: nearly three-quarters of runners will get some injury at some point. While it's a truth universally acknowledged that having the right running shoe is an essential way to prevent injury, most runners presume that a run around a specialised running shop is sufficient to find the perfect fit.

But what if one day runners simply ordered shoes that were tailored to the exact characteristics of their own feet? The shoes would promise never to give blisters, would help them to train safely, and could even improve performance.

This prospect is within reach. As scientists dug deeper into human movement and the exact impact and stresses of the ground on runners’ feet, the need for customised footwear became all the more apparent.

While elite athletes these days already enjoy bespoke shoes, the privilege soon will be rolled out the mass market, according to Susan Olivier, vice president for the consumer goods and retail industry at Dassault Systèmes. A growing consumer appetite for customisation has seen sports brands clamour to seek out technology, such as 3D modelling, to design the perfect footwear for all types of runners. Soon, says Olivier, everyone will be able to enjoy the “second skin experience” that 3D modelling can provide.

At Dassault Systèmes, industry solutions for consumer goods are helping manufacturers to create clothing and equipment which enhance performance while maximising safety and wellbeing. Dassault Systèmes, the world’s leading 3DEXPERIENCE company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations.