Football boot

Neil Smith, Iain Sabberton

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact


This project originated as a student RSA competition, to create footwear that helped reduce cruciate ligament damage and lower limb injuries associated with football. Smith, supervising the project, saw the potential to innovate an active sole solution with Sabberton (RSA student) beyond the competition with a shared IP. The design became part of a collaborative co-funded (£75K) research programme between CfDR and Scientific Generics in Cambridge, (where Sabberton took a post), John Moore University (JMU) Sports Science and Blackburn Rovers FC professional players. Active sole, a patented innovation that adapts to load and foot strike forces against varying playing surfaces, is now the subject of license agreement negotiations with Umbro. The project created new concept analysis and evaluation tools, which allow critical evaluation and retention of knowledge assets within the early stage of design development. These have been utilised in other projects within Scientific Generics and adopted within spin-out companies: Innovia and Special Agent. Smith used product innovation methodologies in the project developed during his experience supervising KTPs with Edwin Trisk and MKW Engineering. The project also created new real-time data collection and testing methodologies for sports footwear from the working collaboration with JMU Sports Science. The project has influenced ongoing work by Smith with Unilever Research (Port Sunlight) and has been used extensively within the development phase of Northumbria’s Design Innovation Lab (nuDIL). These working practices have also been embedded in PGR modules for CfDR’s Professional Practice Doctorate in Design. Scientific Generics is part of the Generics Group, a spin out innovation company from Cambridge University specialising in the exploitation of scientific innovations with venture capital investment groups in the UK and US.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2003


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