Sports company PUMA today presented an experimental sports shoe as part of its BioEvolution project, which uses biologically active materials to uniquely adapt to the wearer’s foot.
The shoe, which is the first result of a collaboration with research organisation Fraunhofer Institute, will be presented at the “Materials Village” exhibition held by Material ConneXion Italia at Milano Design Week 2019.
It features a biologically active layer of the shoe-upper that acts like a dense nanosensor net and at a microscopic level maps the areas of the foot which produce heat and sweat.
This mapping then creates a matching ventilation pattern, or in other words, living micro-organisms selectively remove material to create a unique fit.
“The shoe is not unique by itself – it comes as a blank canvas. It evolves with you, when you start to wear it, and it becomes more and more an expression of your body,” said Charles Johnson, PUMA’s Global Director of Innovation.
As PUMA’s BioEvolution technology is still at an experimental stage, no commercial version of the shoe is planned at present.
PUMA has explored such materials and pioneered the use of biodesign in sportswear, following a research project with the MIT Design Lab which started in June 2017.
The experimental outcomes of this collaboration were revealed for the first time at Milano Design Week last year.
The project has been conducted under the creative curation of Innovation by Design – a global, multidisciplinary design & strategy studio founded in 2014, as a MIT Design Lab spin-off.