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Development of a cost-effective footwear based on shape memory materials to provide an instant fitting personalization service at the retail shop for enhancing user’s comfort (ShopInstantShoe)
Start date: Dec 1, 2009, End date: Feb 29, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Foot diseases are recognised as a wide societal problem and the large majority of people affected are women. The hallux valgus (commonly known as bunion) is the most frequent foot deformation affecting one every five women in adult age. This pathology along with others such as hammertoes, claw toes, metatarsalgies and ingrown nails take place at the forefoot and are mainly caused by the prolonged use of inadequate footwear (due to the mismatch between foot morphometry and footwear). Women fashionable footwear aesthetic constraints demand a more accurate fitting to guarantee footwear functionality and comfort. But differences in human foot morphometry between subjects make really difficult providing an appropriate fitting to each single user, and make women footwear especially uncomfortable and unhealthy. In addition to this, the European footwear industry must identify, assimilate and exploit new technologies to remain competitive as well as develop new concepts, targeting higher added value applications in high tech areas such as materials and composites. For these reasons, the main objective of this proposal is the development of a novel, ergonomic, customizable and fashionable women footwear upper and an innovative service providing customers with personalization of the shoe fitting at the retail shop. Furthermore new biomechanical and fitting customization criteria will be developed in order to improve the comfort of footwear as well as a new leather-based composite material including shape memory alloys. To achieve these objectives three research works will be carried out focused on biomechanics and materials & composites fields. As exploitable results of the project a shape memory alloy filament, a shape memory smart textile, a shape memory leather composite, a new personalization shop tool and a new customizable footwear upper.

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