Global sports brand PUMA, as part of a sponsored research collaboration with MIT Design Lab, has created XETIC, a cushioning technology. Today marks a new era where mechanical cushioning and foam come together. This ultramodern performance innovation provides excellent comfort for walking and is introduced in a new street-ready sneaker called Calibrate Runner.
The futuristic looking XETIC material may first appear like it’s 3D printed, but it is in fact made of foam with its named derived from “auxetic materials”. When subjected to mechanical stress like compression, XETIC shows off a certain behaviour and cushioning which provides an excellent means of comfort.
“PUMA’s innovation department teamed up with MIT Design Lab because we needed their high-expert engineering capabilities,” said Romain Girard, Senior Head of Innovation at PUMA. “MIT has computer simulation possibilities, which enabled us to see the behavior of the material and
quickly find the optimal structure for calculated cushioning.”
PUMA and MIT Design Lab worked with an extensive runner community to analyze individual running specifics, such as pressure points, and they then took the data to develop a specifically shaped structure that allows for progressive cushioning. The result was a structure shaped like the horizontal number 8, which is characteristic for the XETIC.
The whole team was delighted with the ability to work on a project that allowed them to explore such a new space and to see all the efforts culminating in the creation of the Calibrate Runner.
Over the course of the project qualitative and quantitative user testing was used, a novel finite element analysis simulation, and parametric design to find the perfect pattern, which was named ‘Recurve’.
Calibrate Runner has a unique futuristic aesthetic with the visible XETIC technology, and will appeal to the techiest of streetwear collectors, while giving athletes access to a new era of cushioning. Straight from the lab, into the future.
PUMA’s new Calibrate Runner featuring XETIC technology will be available in Asia Pacific from 15 Oct 2020 and retailing at MYR659.