Berkshire Hathaway’s Brooks Running Company is partnering with HP Inc. and Superfeet to deliver the most personalized running footwear.
Leveraging FitStation powered by HP and Brooks Run Signature, Brooks will introduce the first performance running shoe created based on an individual’s unique biomechanics which will be available via special order through select retail partners beginning June 2018.
FitStation is pioneering hardware and software that combines 3D foot scanning with dynamic gait analysis and foot pressure measurements. Fully aligned with principles from Brooks Run Signature, FitStation offers customers in-depth analysis including key motion zones to identify the unique motion path of the runner’s body and information about the desired running experience. FitStation creates a one-of-a-kind holistic digital profile of an individual that combines personalized fit, biomechanics and experience.
With a singular focus on running, Brooks has a deep understanding of runners’ unique biomechanics and is committed to providing personalized experiences that enhance the run for every individual. Based on years of research, the company developed its Run Signature philosophy rooted in the belief that the best way to enhance comfort and improve performance is not to fix a runner’s “flaws” but to instead create running footwear that works with the runner’s natural motion path of his or her body. Through its partnership with HP and Superfeet, Brooks takes Run Signature to the next level and delivers the most personalized running footwear.
“Brooks is committed to providing the fit, feel and ride each runner wants. The ability to give an individual a personalized shoe based on his or her unique biomechanics is a game changer. It is a compelling offering for the runner who is interested in tip-of-the-spear technology and a totally tuned experience,” said Brooks CEO Jim Weber. “As part of our focus on reinventing performance running, we will continue to push the envelope to bring runners innovations that help them uniquely tailor their run.”
“FitStation by HP is changing what personalization means—from the in-store experience to the final product. In collaboration with Brooks and Superfeet, we are delivering truly made-to-measure footwear with a lot size of one,” said Ed Ponomarev, general manager of FitStation and business development HP Inc. “Digitalization of biometric data opens an opportunity to ultimate individualization with the speed and cost efficiency of mass production. HP brings deep experience in computing, scanning and technology integration at scale to deliver a revolutionary digital manufacturing platform, creating individualized products that are available to anyone—from casual runners to elite athletes.”
The FitStation analysis translates into specific requirements for each shoe, and is then produced by Superfeet on a state-of-the-art DESMA polyurethane injection-molding machine. The system uses the 3D foot scans to determine the proper lasts which the shoes are built around, ensuring each shoe is tailored to the specific shape of the runner’s foot. Then, using a combination of variable PU injection with direct attach capabilities, the foot pressure measurements, movement analysis of the runner’s joints, and their personal experience preferences are combined to create personalized midsole requirements with multiple tuned zones—all ensuring the runner stays in their preferred motion path and receives the running experience they desire. All personalized footwear will be manufactured in the U.S. at Superfeet’s world headquarters in Ferndale, Washington.
“Having the leader in running footwear leverage FitStation and our U.S. manufacturing facilities to create the most individualized running shoe on the market is momentous,” said John Rauvola, president and CEO of Superfeet. “Not only will it change what people expect from their running experience, it is also an important step in making a positive difference in people’s lives by delivering the best underfoot support possible. This is the beginning of the individualized fit revolution.”
© 2017 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.