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Brooks Levitate RS. A leap forward in personalised footwear for the masses

Brooks Levitate RS. A leap forward in personalised footwear for the masses

Published December 19, 2017, Author Andy Farnworth

Innovation is how brands compete for our cash and our interest, and every now and then an innovation comes along that makes your head turn, your ears prick up and the hairs on you neck stand up – well it does if you’re shoe geeks at Shoeguide.run!

Brooks are my go too shoes right now, I love everything about them and the detail that goes into them, so no apologies from my side if I sound too excited. Brooks are a brand with a laser focus on the core runner, without too many distractions. A tight line of shoes, each doing a particular job for a particular runner. This gives them superb credibility right now in the running industry and when a brand like this changes things up, it’s a risk, but possibly a huge risk worth taking.

Brooks is collaborating with tech giant HP and integrating your individual biomechanics through the expertise of Superfeet for its latest running innovation.

The Brooks Levitate RS, “the first performance running shoe created based on an individual’s unique biomechanics” was revealed at the head office in Seattle recently.

A three part collaboration of three market leading companies:

1 - FitStation developed by HP is a platform that captures 3D scans of the foot, foot pressure measurements and gait analysis to create a one-of-a-kind digital profile of each foot. I recently saw this technology at a Safety Footwear Expo A+A in Dusseldorf and I was pretty blown away by the accuracy of the scan. (Not so blown away by looking at safety toe shoes all day) So, it is not a unique technology to Brooks, but it’s a big move on from the Adidas Footscan that I worked with for so many years! So bravo for the foresight to jump on a technology early, providing a positive benefit to a consumer with accurate measurement technology.

2 – Brooks supply the running knowhow with an iteration of their superb new running shoe Brooks Levitate (using DNA AMP - a midsole compound supplied by BASF – best known right now for providing the midsole material for the Adidas Boost technology) with a knitted upper for superb fit, and a great outsole delivering a smooth heel to toe transition.

3 – Accurate analysis of a runner’s foot and movement Superfeet (who are already using the HP Fitstation technology to create individual footwear insoles) will manufacture your shoe with a process of PU Injection-molding. (A form of shoe making where the midsole is directly injected to the upper without the need for glue)

The whole process will use the 3D scans to determine an appropriate last (the mould which determines the width of the midsole and the shape of the shoe upper) to ensure each shoe is more tailored to the specific shape of the individuals foot. Variable PU injection capabilities will allow the midsole to be for a better phrase – Tuned to the individuals’ biomechanics – presumably meaning that the midsole will have a variety of densities to control the foot gait in a far more personal way that has been available previously resulting in support exactly where you need it.

This whole process makes a mockery of the mass production line techniques employed to make most shoes with efficiency currently, and will therefore no doubt therefore be expensive, (best prices will obviously be available on ShoeGuide.run once launched) but it is absolutely a monumental step in the right direction for tailored footwear for the masses….

The shoe will be available next June 2018 via select Brooks retail partners.

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