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The Science behind Start-Rite shoes

Children’s needs have always been at the heart of everything we do at Start-Rite. Here we reveal the pioneering new biomechanics research that goes into our products to help support children’s healthy foot development.

Girl  smiling

We’ve been conducting pioneering new research into how children move in the modern world, to help to support their natural foot development. Working closely with innovation consultants, Brytespark, we’ve run a series of physiological tests with children that analyses how footwear affects a child’s body, and how it can impact their physical development.

Kids Feet Being Observed

The extensive research programme put children, aged 5-8, through a series of advanced tests, usually reserved for the sporting elite. This includes 3D Kinematics; which provides 3D feedback to help analyse the impact footwear has on different areas of the body when wearing different footwear. Force Analysis; a pressure distribution measuring system for monitoring local load between the foot and the shoe. And Thermal Cameras, which uses infrared temperature measurements to see how heat dissipates across the foot.

Kids Feet Being Tested

Martin Haines, Biomechanics Coach and Chartered Physio, said: “While it’s important to let children’s feet move naturally, we do need to recognise that the environments and terrains that they walk on have changed a lot in recent years. Their shoes need to allow them to walk as nature intended, but also compensate for 21st Century living and lifestyle.”

As a result of this research, we’ve been able to apply these new findings to our shoes so that they work seamlessly with the foot and the rest of the body as children grow. From the engineering of the Last, (a mould that has a shape similar to that of a human foot), to the composition of the rubber used in the outsoles, there are elements of biomechanics across our entire range, including our comfortable school shoes.

Developing Lasts

The outsoles will feature differing flex grooves that aid natural movement; extra breathability will be built in through use of new materials; as well a shoe collars with a performance driven design, alongside the existing properties of fit and quality that Start-Rite shoes are renowned for.

Developing Flexible Soles

Jenni Foster, Research and Innovation Manager, at Start-Rite Shoes, said: “This is a really exciting time for Start-Rite. We are working with experts in the biomechanics and podiatry fields to continue our passion in the footwear industry, with products that advocate natural movement for kids through every stage of their development. We are pioneering to allow kids to be kids. To play and move freely, and to grow to be the best they can be in our shoes.”

Find out more about the pioneering research that goes into Start-Rite shoes HERE.