European project DemoShopInstantShoe kick-off meeting

Villena (Spain), 16th of July 2013

The company Calzamedi hosted the kick-off meeting of the European project DemoShopInstantShoe to develop an instant in-shop personalization service with a new type of female footwear, based on shape-memory materials that improve comfort and prevents feet pathologies such as Hallux Valgus.

Feet diseases represent an important social problem, being the female population who principally suffer from it. The Hallux Valgus is the most frequent feet deformation affecting one of every five women at adult age. This pathology, together with other deformations of the front part of the foot, are in most cases caused by a continued use of inadequate footwear, providing a poor fitting between the foot and the footwear.

The trends marking the aesthetics and fashion of the female footwear compels to realize a more precisely fitting to guarantee the comfort and functionality of this product. But the differences in morphometry of the human foot makes it very difficult to provide an adequate fitting to every user in a personalized way and causes that, especially in the case of women, the footwear becomes uncomfortable and unhealthy.

In this context, the European shoe industry needs to identify, assimilate and exploit the new technologies to continue being competitive, as well as developing new concepts, aiming at applications of added value in high technologies areas, as materials and compounds. In the presence of these challenges, the principal objective of this project is to develop a high-end female footwear being novel, ergonomic and personalized. Therefore, this initiative will generate new footwear upper materials based on composites including a shape memory alloy, creating an innovative service of shoe personalization in-store.

For that, some basic measurements of the client's feet will be taken in store and, by means of an automatic deformable last, the upper material will be modified in order to adapt the footwear to the client's foot geometry. This shoe personalization pursues to prevent some of the main podological problems affecting the women as described previously.

The DemoShopInstantShoe is a direct follow on from the very successful ShopInstantShoe project, which came to promising conclusions in February 2012. After the end of this new project, which will last 22 months, the personalization service will be available for commercialization.

The consortium is composed of three manufacturer companies (the Spanish Calzamedi, and French Texinov and Nimesis), two retail shops (OrtoTwins in Portugal and TechnoBoots in Switzerland) and a Spanish research centre (IBV).

The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA-Research Executive Agency (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° FP7-SME-2013-1-606119.

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