For her first competitive race in two years, long distance runner and world-record-holder, Paula Radcliffe, made her comeback to the sport yesterday when she took part in Worcester City’s 10k race. Ms Radcliffe’s re-emergence in Worcester was enabled, at least in part, by 3D printed running shoe insoles, designed specifically for her based on her dynamic gait analysis.
Yesterday’s 10k race, in which she placed third, is part of Paula’s training to take part in the London Marathon next April and RS Print, who developed and printed the insoles, is going to be there with her every step of the way. The 3D printed insoles for her running shoes have been facilitated by two world players in their markets — RS Scan for dynamic gait analysis and Materialise for 3D printing — who have joined forces to create the newly-founded RS Print.
Paula’ history with RS Scan goes back many years as they have worked together to push the boundaries of modern athletics footwear. After almost two decades of world-class athletics, she knows better than anyone, that using the latest technology can make a difference and give her an edge. Paula chose RS Print’s insoles to support her feet because of the ability to create an insole that is truly customized to support her unique running style.
Paula Radcliffe went on record, saying: “Whether your goal is to break the marathon world record or to run in the annual 5k race in your street with some friends, having a footscan® analysis is just a responsible thing to do to prevent possible problems. It’s truly amazing what the guys at RS Scan can see on my footscan® gait analysis and RS Print’s 3D-printed insoles work to fit my personal running style.”
“I use the insoles in training to prevent over-stressing my body during workouts,” Paula continued. “Since my injury, I am now more cautious than ever to make sure my feet are well taken care of so that I can reach my new running goals of the London Marathon. Without the support of RS Scan and the [3D printed] insoles I would not have been able to recover back to this point post operation and also probably not be able to continue my career as long as I did on my foot!”
Her 3D printed insoles are generated through a set process. First a trained specialist took a dynamic scan of her gait using RS Scan’s proprietary footscan system. The resulting footprint was then analysed to see where exactly and in which direction extra support is needed. Based on the specialist’s analysis and input, a design is generated, which is sent to RS Print. RS Print then “engineers” this design into a thin, lightweight and dynamic insole, which is subsequently 3D printed. Finally, a cushioning layer is mounted on top to add extra comfort.
RS Print is opening up this technology for everyone. You can already get your very own 3D-printed insoles at the RS Lab stores in Belgium. RS Print’s insoles will be available in other select European regions this fall.