Puma launches new sneaker in sponsored research collaboration

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

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