The Instituto de Biomecánica (Biomechanics Institute-IBV) has developed SUNfeet, insoles which are customized to the anatomy of the user’s foot, which increase the comfort of footwear and reduce pain and fatigue in the feet. This product is now available in Europe.
These insoles display an innovative technology used in their development: a combination of a system for capturing and digitizing the shape of the foot which is easy and intuitive for the user via smartphone and a 3-D printing system which allows insoles to be manufactured in a totally personalized manner.
SUNfeet arose from the idea of combining the latest trends in health, technology and fashion to develop exclusive insoles which make footwear more comfortable and care for the feet, thus promoting an active lifestyle.
The SUNfeet smartphone app was designed for the 3Dcapture system, making it possible to obtain the shape of the foot extremely accurately and conveniently from any location.
The process is very simple: while seated, the user places the bare foot on one side of a sheet of paper. The app itself will guide him/her until three images of each foot are obtained. The files are then sent to a server which reconstructs the foot in 3-D, using pattern recognition and shape analysis algorithms. The 3-D image of the foot can be displayed on screen in less than one minute. Finally, the system assigns a unique identification code to each image, which will subsequently be used to design the customized insole.
At the same time, this technology is also present in the manufacturing process through 3-D printing, opening the way for more creative designs and the customization of the functional properties of resistance and flexibility, adapting them to the specific needs of each user and activity.
The power and precision of SUNfeet technology allow for optimal customization: not only are the insoles adapted to the anatomy of the foot, but also to the characteristics and lifestyle of each user. With this in mind, three different models of insole have been created (Sports, Casual and Elegant), taking into account the type of activity and the characteristics of the footwear in order to select the most suitable materials and thicknesses. Thus, the impact cushioning, energy return and pressure distribution requirements are adapted to each use and to the characteristics of each individual.
The Instituto de Biomecánica (Biomechanics Institute — IBV) has introduced, as part of the Science Museum “Príncipe Felipe” of Valencia, this SUNfeet technology, incorporated as a new module of the exhibition “We Take Care About Your Quality of Life.”
IBV director, Javier Sánchez Lacuesta, reminded those present that “this exhibition -promoted by CVIDA association- was developed by IBV in collaboration with the Science Museum and opened in October 2007 in order to make available to the citizen technologies, products and services that take care of their health and wellbeing. This is an interactive show in which the visitor can check their skills in different environments and attractions.”
The foot care is essential to reduce hassles that come to limit the way of life. Using comfort insoles helps keep feet healthy during daily activity. SUNfeet combines a precise system of capturing and digitizing the foot and a 3D printing system that allows develop fully customized insoles.
The user can select the insole that best suits his lifestyle: Casual insoles for continued use shoes that achieve comfort and reduce foot fatigue; Elegant insoles that fit with most elegant and formal shoes; and Sports insoles that improve performance and help to prevent injuries.
Juan Carlos Gonzalez, IBV Clothing Director, showed attendees the performance of this system, highlighting the ease of use, accuracy when carrying out the capture of the foot and versatility of the system that allows getting perfectly tailored insoles to the needs and characteristics of the user and the function to which they are intended.
Asociación RUVID. “SUNfeet technology for the customization of comfort insoles using a smartphone.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151019072208.htm>.
The impact of custom semirigid foot orthotics on pain and disability for individuals with plantar fasciitis.
Division of Physical Therapy, Program in Human Movement Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 27599-7135, USA. email@example.com
Single-group, pre-, and post intervention repeated measures design.
To determine the impact of custom semi rigid foot orthotics on pain and disability for individuals with plantar fasciitis.
Few studies have examined the efficacy of foot orthotics for plantar fasciitis, and no single study has yet examined the effects of semirigid foot orthotics on an established quality-of-life instrument.
METHODS AND MEASURES:
Eight men and 7 women (mean ages 44.7 +/- 9.0 years) who reported having plantar fasciitis symptoms for an average of 21.3 +/- 23.7 months participated in the study. Subjects were timed for a 100-m walk at a self-selected speed, then they rated the pain they experienced during the walk using a 10-cm visual analog scale. Subjects also completed the pain and disability subsections of the Foot Function Index questionnaire. All measures were acquired before the fabrication of custom semirigid foot orthotics and 12 to 17 days following onset of foot orthotic use.
Postorthotic 100-m walk times were not significantly different (t = 0.39, P = 0.70) than preorthotic values. Postorthotic pain ratings (mean = 0.7 +/- 0.7) for the 100-m walk were significantly less than (Wilcoxon t = 1, P < 0.005) preorthotic pain ratings (mean = 3.0 +/- 1.7). Postorthotic Foot Function Index pain subsection ratings (Wilcoxon t = 0, P < 0.005) were significantly less than preorthotic ratings, demonstrating a 66% reduction in pain ratings. Postorthotic Foot Function Index disability subsection ratings (Wilcoxon t = 0, P < 0.005) were significantly less than preorthotic ratings, demonstrating a 75% reduction in disability ratings.
Custom semirigid foot orthotics may significantly reduce pain experienced during walking and may reduce more global measures of pain and disability for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis.
When standing and walking, we are subjected to forces that produce stress and strain throughout our bodies. When a foot imbalance is present there can be abnormal forces on the feet, knees, hips, back and/or neck that lead to pain and poor function. The foot imbalance must be corrected to improve body alignment and therefore, decrease pain and improve function.
What are Custom Orthotics?
Custom orthotics are devices which are inserted into footwear to support or correct your foot function.
When appropriately prescribed, custom orthotics can:
- Decrease pain, not only in the foot, but in other parts of the body such as the knee, hip and lower back.
- Increase stability in an unstable joint.
- Prevent a deformed foot from developing additional problems.
- Improve overall quality of life.
How are custom orthotics made?
While orthotics can be made by several different processes, we take a foam impression of the patient’s foot in a “neutral” position and send it to a laboratory with the physiotherapist’s direction for correction.
At the lab, technicians pour plaster into the mould and, when it hardens, it reproduces the bottom of the individual’s foot. The technicians then use the physiotherapist’s directions to custom-make a device to meet the patient’s specific needs.
Who Can Benefit From Orthotics?
- those in need of relief of painful foot problems or an injury
- people who must walk or stand excessively on the job
- those who are active in sports: orthotics will often increase endurance, performance and strength
- overweight individuals: orthotics can help to counteract the extra stress on the feet, as minor problems are often magnified due to the increased weight
- older adults who may have developed arthritis in their feet: orthotics are particularly effective in relieving foot fatigue and discomfort
- orthotics may also be prescribed for children who have a foot deformity
Types of Custom Orthotics
Different types of custom orthotics are available for different uses. There are a number of sport specific orthotics designed for use in running/walking shoes, ski boots, skates, golf shoes and court shoes. Sandals come with the orthotic built in a way to prevent slippage. Dress shoes generally don’t have much extra space and therefore come with a thinner orthotic. There are also orthotics designed for special health needs such as arthritis and diabetes. Talk to us about what type of custom orthotic would best suit your needs!