Optimisation of directional energy transfer in running shoes.

Dickson, M 2015, Optimisation of directional energy transfer in running shoes., Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Optimisation of directional energy transfer in running shoes.
Author(s) Dickson, M
Year 2015
Abstract Existing sports footwear has little consideration of performance from an engineering perspective. Many sports shoes are designed for fashion over function. Existing developments in sports shoe development include energy return that helps to improve performance. A few shoes have been developed based on this with great success. Just prior to the commencement of this project directional energy transfer was mentioned in an academic paper for the first time. Note that energy is a scalar quantity that in itself has no direction. The terminology relating energy to a direction is referring to the direction of deflection. When the force acting in this direction to produce the deflection is multiplied by the amount of deflection, the result is the energy of the interaction. In the literature directional energy transfer has been discovered, however significant further research was required to allow for the widespread adoption of the technology. The existing literature gives a preliminary theoretical look at an idealised directional energy transfer system and demonstrated how an existing shoe structure (the Adidas bounce tube) may be optimized.

This study aims to develop the understanding of directional energy transfer to the level of a thorough understanding about the nature of directional energy transfer and to map out how the technology can be applied and optimised in sports shoes.

To accomplish this aim, a thorough survey was conducted in order to categorize the various theoretical models that are capable of delivering directional energy transfer. The mathematical models for these categories are developed to allow for understanding and optimisation of any directional energy transfer system. The optimisation of directional energy transferred was researched in greater depth than ever before. By measuring the real world properties of an Adidas bounce tube this investigation produced a real world quantification of the possible benefit of the technology to an existing shoe. The investigation also delved deeper into a number of suitable parameters used to measure directional energy transfer. The effect of running conditions on these parameters was thoroughly investigated. Having established the procedure of optimisation in various circumstances, the investigation developed solutions to the challenge of finding a simple and practical structure capable of delivering directional energy transfer. The investigation conducted a survey into the curvature of shoes while walking at different speeds. Designs were developed for a directional energy transfer prototype shoe and prototypes intended to confirm the performance advantage of the technology. The investigation closed with a discussion about how the technology could be further developed into a production shoe.

There were a number of key results from the research conducted. Development of experimental models confirmed the practical possibility of directional energy transfer in running shoes. A four bar linkage was demonstrated to be capable of performing as a practical method to deliver directional energy transfer. The survey into the curvature of shoes while walking at different speeds allowed for the development of solutions to shoe design that are ergonomic and deliver directional energy transfer. The prototype shoes were tested and proved to deliver significant directional energy transfer.

Overall, greater understanding of directional energy transfer was developed allowing the reader to understand and apply optimisation and design techniques. This can lead to improved athletic performance.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Aerospace, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
Keyword(s) Directional energy transfer
Running shoes
Shoe design
Sole construction
Optimisation
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Created: Thu, 21 Jan 2016, 13:48:09 EST by Denise Paciocco
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