Phobic™ Light, and Women's Phobic™ Light performance footwear: a performance running shoe for all rugged off road conditions designed for Berghaus
The phobic range of footwear is designed for high performance trail running applications where effective grip, rugged construction, light weight and foot protection are extremely important. The three main key areas of innovation on this project are: The unique, patented ‘opti-stud’ lug system for the outer sole, designed to provide effective grip. The triangular lug format providing a self supporting structure. Extensive finite element analysis and practical testing/evaluation was undertaken to support the theory. The sports science department at Manchester Metropolitan University were contracted to undertake an evaluation of the Phobics’ Bio-Mechanical performance. Light weight; at 297gms for a size 8, the Phobic footwear is several grams lighter than its nearest competitor making for greater comfort and a market advantage. Extensive design development was undertaken with the manufacturers in China to minimise weight in all aspects of the design, typically minimising the thickness of the outer sole and the use of a perforated thermoplastic mid sole stiffening unit to provide strength with minimal weight gain. Subsequent bio-mechanical and user testing/evaluation determined that initial prototypes had been effectively designed. Use of hydrophobic materials selected to repel water. At all points of the design process strict efforts were made to avoid using materials that would inherently retain water. This required extensive material analysis in conjunction with cost effective manufacturing compatibility. The result is a range of footwear that does not retain water; one good shake and they are near dry. In addition a unique visual language has been produced capitalising upon and maximising the potential in low cost flow moulding techniques of Thermoplastic Rubber onto light weight volume mesh. Berghaus has a smaller development budget than competitors such as Adidas or Nike. Extensive and systematic use of 3D CAD and prototype evaluation has been used at all times.
Research Group : Design and New Product Development
- School of Design