Exhibiting at Formnext Frankfurt, 19 – 22 November 2024

Your trainers, be it running or every day, could be the cause of your knee pains and injuries, but how? Recent research has looked into a correlation between pronation of the ankle and your big toe valgus, (Big toe pointing in towards your little toes) it is also what causes the well-known “bunion”. Which is a result of lousy, poorly fitting shoes.

Waffle racing flat

When Bill Bowerman came up with waffle iron soles, his innovation allowed Nike to market the soles for increased grip. They convinced some of the best runners in the world at the time to wear the Nike Waffle racing flat, which they wore to Olympic victory in 1972. The big brands have continued to innovate, coming up with some radical concepts in shoe design and manufacturing, but few make it to market. However, even though they have budgets larger than some small countries, it is extraordinary that few of the big brands seem to have taken the design approach for better foot health using the simple biomechanics of the body.

Many of you might not have heard of the barefoot movement. The movement promotes making shoes that allow your feet to be free versus conforming to narrow, large drop shoes. When you consider the simple biomechanics of the body and the foot, this makes a lot of sense; for two simple reasons. 1. A free-standing body has more stability when attached to a wider base. 2. The lower the centre of gravity a body has, the more stability it has. Therefore a high heel shoe with a narrow profile is counterintuitive.

So how can all this cause increased risk or injury? A recent study examined the hypothesis; Is there a correlation between big toe valgus degree and pronation degree. In layman terms, this means, if your big toe is pointing increasingly in towards your other toes, do you have more server pronation of the ankle. And the answer is yes, according to this study. Why is this a bad thing? Suppose you think of your leg and foot as a simple mechanical body. With ankle pronation, the resultant forces will be in the wrong direction of travel. And joints designed to move in plane are forced out of plane. This image should help explain.

The chain reaction of pronation
Results of research into pronation and big toe valgus

How can you solve potential health issues in your feet and lower legs? The solution is simple. Design shoes that fit your natural foot shape, and this will give you the most stability to keep your joints moving naturally. Your big toe supports 40–60% of your weight when standing, so imagine what happens to it if you reduce its strength and functionality.

Many brands are already tackling this problem and educating the consumer, but finding a good fitting shoe is still an issue. Shoe brands only offer standard sizes, which means you have to conform to their predetermined stock sizes. Fyous is on a mission to eradicate standard sizes providing a custom-fit, bespoke fit solution affordable for everyone. Your body, designed to move in a certain way, will be facilitated by Fyous custom-fit polymorphic technology.

Fyous custom-fit polymorphic midsole

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