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Monitum .

The biggest problem and fear for an athlete is getting injured as they have to postpone their training. From this, they could miss out on opportunities or even end of career. Monitum is footwear with a visual indicating system embedded to reduce stress-related injury that occurs from wearing worn-in/out shoes for young amateur athlete, notifying when to change their footwear.

[Latin]  document giving warning of something, or giving a warning to someone; 

Stress fracture.

Plantar fasciitis.

Overused / stress - related injuries .

Injured athletes from international competition.

From the training .

In IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federation) World Athletics Championships held in various locations in the period of 2007-2012, a series of injuries in the lower limb occurred to the athletes. Overall there has been more than 20-25% of injuries occurred. Furthermore, 30% of injuries expected to prevent athletes from participating in either training or competition.

For running-related athletes, most of the long term and severe injuries occur in training sessions. Training is essential for athletes to prepare for those events as training maximize their ability and build their mindsets; athletes need to participate in every training session, every day. As training is a routine and excessive repetition of physical exercise, the rates of athletes being exposed to injuries remain equal or high.

Injury occurrence in Athletics .

Running related athletes have series of seasons throughout the year; it could involve a variety of sports such as a marathon, long-distance in both outdoor and indoor, and other possible events depending on the sports category. For running-related athletes, most of the long term and severe injuries occur in training sessions.

Training is essential for athletes to prepare for those events as training maximize their ability and build their mindsets; athletes need to participate in every training session, every day. As training is a routine and excessive repetition of physical exercise, the rates of athletes being exposed to injuries remain equal or high.

Overused / stress - related Injuries .

problem .

“an adequate ‘wearing in’ period for new running shoes would protect the foot from injuries related to inappropriate footwear.  ”

“...effectively maintains the plantar pressure pattern after 700 km of use under all the zones studied except the midfoot, probably due to material fatigue or deficits of the specific cushioning systems in that area.”

“As shoe cushioning capability decreases, runners modify their patterns to maintain constant external loads.

opportunity .

Current footwear athletes wear for their training has approximately 300-400 miles (482-643 km) of life span, its distance that cushion can last. When footwear starts to wear in/out, it causes imbalance and begins not to perform correctly – meaning that shoes are not protecting an athlete’s foot. Through the changes that are occurring on footwear, the athlete adapts their system to maintain the load. Within this issue, the chance of incurring overuse injuries are a lot higher. 

User .

Student-athlete .

After looking at a different set of the target, I have decided to explore who are the people getting the most disadvantages from minor pain to injury. From observing various factors to identify the specific target group, I have concluded to continue with an athlete and more specifically, a student-athletes.

 

Student-athletes are players that are either in high school or university/college level, also known as ‘professional wannabe’. Student-athletes are categorized as amateur, or if they are above that level, they can be called semi-professional. Unlike professionals, student-athletes are responsible for their bodies, meaning if they are injured or hurt – they have to take care of their bodies.

Goal / considerations .

Inspiration .

After looking at a different set of the target, I have decided to explore who are the people getting the most disadvantages from minor pain to injury. From observing various factors to identify the specific target group, I have concluded to continue with an athlete and more specifically, a student-athletes.

 

Student-athletes are players that are either in high school or university/college level, also known as ‘professional wannabe’. Student-athletes are categorized as amateur, or if they are above that level, they can be called semi-professional. Unlike professionals, student-athletes are responsible for their bodies, meaning if they are injured or hurt – they have to take care of their bodies.

Methods .

Opal Polymer is an advanced material that changes colour through any sort of deformation such as; stretching, bending scrunching and more. By applying this on the midsole, it could gradually change its colour over time.

Initial idea .

For the midsole, while there are two separate parts I wanted to use TPU foams. However, as TPU foam is known for heavyweights, I have decided to cut the hole through to reduce the weight but also creating cushioning. The fishnet structure will be TPU plastic fibre.

 

TPU is known for its flexibility but also its durability. It is using TPU material that is flexible yet dense enough to function as fishnet is the best choice that I can have. Having an opal polymer underneath the fishnet and TPU slowly squeezing out will be shown.

For the upper, I wanted to have 2 materials for more lockdown feature to the foot. More compression there are soft on the instep of a foot can create more stability on athlete run as they do not have to use extra loads to lift their foot. However, by focusing on this soft compression, it made me think to have an extra layer that performs almost like another layer of skin.

 

Using ariaprene that is thin, breathable, flexible and durable as inner material that covers the heel and midfoot area with different padding located on the instep of a foot will provide a tremendous amount of pressure on the foot to stay in its position. This inner material travels up to the ankle area covering up to the Achilles tendon, preventing laceration from occurring as student-athlete wearing short socks.

Revised Idea .

Final Direction .

The final direction focuses on the idea of linking back the design goal through maintaining the midsole component but developing more on the outsole and also finalising the direction for the footwear. During this part, there will be more technical aspect being played to get to the real part as possible through imagining this is real life.

The upper design will be in the form of engineered mesh and a combination of ariaprene that act as the second layer on the skin that maximises the usage of lockdown for a stable fit. Also, TPU linings are inside and outside of the upper creating stiffness for the tension to apply while creating a lockdown aspect. I have maintained the direction of the eye stays and the ariaprene method.

Prototyping Process .

To prototype this, I have used a blender to model an upper and ZBrush for tooling modelling. For an upper through using various tools that I have practised using. I created an overall form and the details on the top as a TPU weld.

 

For the tooling, after achieving a base model in the blender, I have imported to the Zbrush to create details of the arch. By using multiple tools that I have previously practised. I could achieve the base form of the tooling. After that, using blender’s add on - Tissue; which is a parametric tool, I was able to create the netting system.

Monitum .

Monitum is the outcome of this injury prevention of amateur athlete’s research design exploration. After multiple iterations of design developments, prototyping and validating its forms and functions, the outcome of Monitum has presented unique approach in identifying its issue that occurs throughout the months of the period within footwear especially with tooling to prevent injury occurrences from wearing worn-in/out footwear.

 

Through deformation that occurs on the midsole by expansion caused through constant pressure implying on midsole over time, netting system captures the deformation where advance material, opal polymer notifies the user the issue on the midsole from colour changing.

 

Brand new stage, overall footwear stays at its original form and colour as nothing has happened and nothing has been worn in/out. As time goes and mileage starts to build up midsole starts to expand, and it reacts to the opal polymer where colour gradually changes.

 

 

 

When it reaches the end of the use stage by going over the limit of its mileage, it presents a vibrant blood red colour surrounded by orange and yellow—showcasing dramatic change from how it was from brand new to old signifying the issue with the midsole to the user.

Midsole overtime started to deform as there is constant pressure implying downwards on to the top surface of the midsole, which creates compression with the ground. During this process, midsole foam starts to expand. Having some netting structure like fishnet will create interesting and unique deformation on the midsole surface where opal polymer can be utilised for the colours to change during the deformation.

To prototype this, I have used a blender to model an upper and ZBrush for tooling modelling. For an upper through using various tools that I have practised using. I created an overall form and the details on the top as a TPU weld.

 

For the tooling, after achieving a base model in the blender, I have imported to the Zbrush to create details of the arch. By using multiple tools that I have previously practised. I could achieve the base form of the tooling. After that, using blender’s add on - Tissue; which is a parametric tool, I was able to create the netting system.

Monitum .

“footwear for amateur athletes that prevents injury while training through creating an indicator that identifies wearing in/out visually before reaching the limit”

For :

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

(RMIT) 

Bachelor of Industrial Design. (Honours) Thesis

Supervisor :

Dr Scott Mayson

Duration :

01.03.2020 - 

11.15.2020

Tools :

Design Research

User/problem analysis.

Data analysis.

Concept development - Moodboard, Sketching

Design development - Sketching, Mockups, Rapid modelling

Prototyping - Blender, Cinema4D, Zbrush, Adobe Illustrator

Tech pack .

General overview .

Internal Construction.

Material map .

Midsole overview .

© 2023 by bluugu, Sung Myeong (Lucius) Ha