Tired of resigning yourself to wearing uncomfortable footwear or hunting for hours in search of the right shoes, but think a made-to-order pair will be prohibitively expensive? Think again. A European project has come up with a solution.
Around 300 people across Europe are currently wearing footwear that better fits their feet thanks to trials carried out by the ERGOSHOE project last year. Many more are likely to do the same as the European Commission-funded initiative brings its results to market.
By using a laser foot scanner to create a 3D computer model of a person’s feet, the ERGOSHOE system bridges the design gap between shoe manufacturers and customers, allowing shoe comfort to be improved efficiently and at relatively low cost in the mass market, and in niche markets such as healthcare and worker footwear. In turn, it promises to boost the competitiveness of European shoemakers, who produce 700 to 800 million pairs a year, against Asian imports that amounted to 1.6 billion pairs in 2004.
Tara Morris | alfa
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