Industry-Sponsored Research Week

MIT helps Puma design and launch new sneaker in sponsored research collaboration

By David Schwartz
Published: August 11th, 2020

Puma has released a new street-ready sneaker called Calibrate Runner as part of a sponsored research collaboration with MIT Design Lab.

The partnership has produced a new cushioning technology called Xetic, which combines mechanical cushioning with foam technology. The name is taken from “auxetic materials,” referring to structures that behave in a certain way when they are subjected to mechanical stresses such as compression, according to Puma.

“Puma’s innovation department teamed up with MIT Design Lab because we needed their high expert engineering capabilities,” said Romain Girard, senior head of innovation at Puma in a statement. “MIT has computer simulation possibilities, which enabled us to see the behavior of the material and quickly find the optimal structure for calculated cushioning,” he added.

Working with a community of runners, Puma and MIT analyzed issues such as as pressure points and used the data to develop a structure that allows for progressive cushioning. This resulted in a structure shaped like a horizontal 8.

The design team conducted qualitative and quantitative user testing, a novel finite analysis simulation, and parametric design to find the perfect pattern, which has been dubbed “recurve,” giving the new sneaker a unique futuristic aesthetic. It will be available in stores in late August.

Source: Fashion United

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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