The role of research in the creation of athletic footwear
Athletic products must meet the needs of athletes and the demands imposed by sports through innovative design. These needs of athletes and requirements of sports are performance, protection and comfort related. In depth knowledge of anatomy and physiology, etiology of commonly reported injuries, and lower extremity mechanics form the basis of product creation/engineering. Game analysis which entails time and frequency surveys of the skills performed during a game, interviews with athletes and coaches, and discussions with medical staffs are used to identify the skills that are critical to the needs of athletes. In lab full biomechanical analyses of these skills and/or physiological responses of the athletes lead to clear functional criterions that serve as guidelines to be met by the design team. The concepts created by the design team are in turns subjected to the same battery of biomechanical analyses. The learning gathered through this pluridisciplinary process is used to further evolve design concepts. The evolution-testing loop is repeated until biomechanical and/or physiological, mechanical and perceptual tests indicate that the design concept meets the established functional design criterions. At that time, the design concepts is ready for manufacturing research and development. Additional biomechanical and physical tests are performed through that phase to confirm that the manufacturing processes preserve the functionality of the design concept. Durability and long term performance of production samples are evaluated through a final three month long weartest program. A rigorous research/testing program is crucial to create and engineer sport products that meet the performance, protection.
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- Digital Human Laboratory(2002). Research for Japanese Runners Average Foot submitted to NIKE.
- Duke University Medical Center(2000). Annual Report of the Coach Krzyzewski Human Performance Laboratory submitted to NIKE.
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- Meilgaard M., Vance Civille G. and B. Thomas Carr(1991). Sensory Evaluation Techniques. CRC Press, New York, pp.1-354.
- NCAA Injury Surveillance System. 1995-96 Report.
- Van Mechelen W.(1992). Running Injuries: A Review of the Epidemiological Literature. Sports Medicine. 14(5):pp.320-335.
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