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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F006101/1
Title: Shoe Signature Monitoring for Advanced Running Technique (ShoeSMART)(Feasibility Proposal)
Principal Investigator: Carre, Professor MJ
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
UK Sport
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 October 2007 Ends: 31 October 2008 Value (£): 10,955
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Design Engineering Intelligent Measurement Sys.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Sports and Recreation
Related Grants:
EP/F006047/1 EP/F006349/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
20 Jun 2007 Engineering Systems Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
For all running sports (and many others) the means of propulsion forwards comes from the foot-surface interaction. Many advances have been made over the years in the development of more technically sophisticated equipment (for example the athletic shoes and the surfaces) and more technically sophisticated athletes from better power delivery and endurance through improved athletic physique and motion technique. Research has played a large part in these 'human factor' and 'equipment' developments. The development of the highest quality, consistent and effective motion technique will maximise an individual's performance. Their conditioning through training and competition is the key building block to achieving their peak levels of performance at the appropriate time (e.g. for an Olympics). In addition, their careful recovery from any injury, often caused by over-training or accidents, is a further vital factor in realising their potential. The coaches and other support team (e.g. physiotherapists) are required to provide very focussed advice and assistance in both the technical development and injury protection/recovery of the athletes. The athlete's support team will utilise whatever tools are at their disposal to help 'measure' the athlete's abilities and develop them further. However, to date the assessment of the athletic motion technique and propulsion mechanics has been limited to a combination of indirect techniques (visual, high-speed video and so on) and direct measurement of foot-surface contact forces but in a controlled laboratory environment. The next logical step in research and development is to provide high quality information of the foot-surface interaction during the athlete's training by the development of a fully instrumented shoe (or insole). Such an advanced tool would reap enormous benefits to individuals to both enhance their performance and provide unique feedback on their (more controlled) rehabilitation from injury. This feasibility study aims to address the following question. How can we provide appropriate (mechanical) feedback to athletes and their coaches of their foot to surface running characteristics to aid performance?The study aims to address this question by determining firstly the detailed user requirements and then the feasibility of utilising current technology to achieve these. The study will produce an advanced running 'model' for measurement and enhancement of performance, evaluate current technology, and detail the requirements for the necessary further research and development to achieve the goal of a fully instrumented shoe. A feasibility study is required as this problem comprises many complexities of measurement and interpretation, is innovative in its application for elite level athletic performance, and is necessarily multidisciplinary. It is anticipated that through the feasibility study an achievable research framework will be formed to design and produce suitably instrumented footwear.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk