- Andrea Byrne |
Puma has released a new street-ready sneaker called Calibrate Runner, available 28 August, as part of a sponsored research collaboration with MIT Design Lab.
The partnership sees the launch of Xetic, a new cushioning technology which combines the worlds of mechanical cushioning and foam. While Xetic may look like it is made from plastic, it is actually foam. The name is taken from “auxetic materials” structures which 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.
Puma and MIT worked extensively with a runner community to analyse individual specifics, such as pressure points. Data was then taken to develop a structure that allows for progressive cushioning. This resulted in a structure shaped like a horizontal 8, which is a feature associated with the Xetic.
Over the course of its creation, qualitative and quantitative user testing was used, a novel finite analysis simulation, and parametric design to find the perfect pattern, which was named: recurve. With its visible Xetic technology, Calibrate Runner has a unique futuristic aesthetic.
Photo credit: Puma