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Innovation Voucher Scheme inspires next generation running shoe

A scheme designed to promote engagement and innovation between the knowledge base found at UCLan and business, has recently seen Spinks Springs, part of the Harrison Spinks family of businesses, working closely with UCLan academics to complete biomechanical testing of a prototype running shoe.

Yorkshire-based Spinks Springs have a long history of manufacturing their unique low height pocket springs; Posturfil, Flexecore and HD Micro Pocket Springs for products ranging from bedding to automotive seating. When progressing into exploring the latest in footwear technology, Spinks Springs realised the potential of partnering with leading academics in biomechanics at UCLan.

Since embarking on the scheme the company has benefited from the abundance of knowledge and expertise from the academic community at the University. UCLan’s Professor Jim Richards and Steven Lindley have worked closely with the manufacturing company to extensively test the prototype running shoe that incorporates Spinks Springs most advanced spring technology into its design.

The research conducted by UCLan experts aimed to illuminate biomechanical questions around the product such as whether the modified shoe reduced the impact on the foot during heel strike running and the shoes potential to reduce sports injury and improve running performance.

By working with UCLan the company has received the independent scientific data needed to move to the next stage of development. This data will also help push future evidence based purchasing, greatly improving the market potential of the product. Spinks Springs believe that the joint project has given them a fresh direction into the area of sport footwear and protective equipment.

As a result of the working with UCLan a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) has been secured between Harrison Spinks and UCLan, aiming to continue the innovative research and successful relationship formed from the Innovation Voucher Scheme. Spinks Springs commented that the Innovation Voucher funding was extremely valuable as it allowed them to explore this relationship with UCLan that was ultimately instrumental in developing and improving their product.