The crowning glory – a custom footbed
The shoe is the only garment where “non-fit” can cause pain and discomfort. The ill-fitting jacket may pinch under the armpit, the too-small shirt may throw unsightly wrinkles, a day with ill-fitting shoes usually ends with a painful blister on the foot and the coming days become an ordeal. We are of the opinion that this does not have to be! With our anatomically shaped Climatocork footbed, we have already found a solution that fits most people very well.
But no two feet are alike, and each has individual characteristics that may require an equally individual adjustment of the shoe’s interior to ensure maximum comfort. Especially in sports, where the feet have to perform at their best, the footbed should also be adapted to ensure perfect power transfer from the foot to the shoe and to the ground. Slippage in the shoe or partial overloads should be eliminated to allow maximum efficiency in movement. This applies to all areas of sport where the feet are in use. This is immediately apparent in running, but the same is true in skiing or golfing. Here, the most important thing is a firm stand and perfect fit in the shoe. Even in motor sports, the feet are constantly in use when braking, accelerating or clutching, and in some cases have to withstand extreme pressure loads at the highest temperatures. So you see that good and perfectly fitting footwear makes a positive contribution to athletic performance – but unfortunately also vice versa, if it does not fit.
So what did we do? Our goal was to find a customization solution to best adapt our Climatocork footbed to our customers’ feet. We were driven by the need to avoid negative influences on the outstanding properties of Climatocork, such as its moisture absorption capacity. In the classic individualization processes in the footbed and insole sector, a blank is usually individualized by incorporating supporting or corrective elements and topped with a glued-on textile or leather layer. It doesn’t matter whether the footbed is built up classically using a layering process or manufactured using new manufacturing techniques such as CNC milling. The cover material is glued on, so the dried adhesive acts as a moisture barrier and foot sweat has no chance – away from the foot – to be dissipated into the lower layers. Which makes no difference with these materials, since they almost certainly cannot absorb moisture anyway. The Climatocork footbed is different – it can absorb moisture. More information about the positive properties of cork can be found in another blog post -.
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Another problem with the classic production of individualized insoles is the process itself. The basis is almost always the impression of the customer’s foot in malposition – either in digital form as a scan or physically as an impression. The specialist must now interpret which corrections to the insole are necessary to produce the desired change in the way the footbed works – whether he implements it digitally on the computer (CAD) or manually on the insole blank. So the insert is only as accurate as the person interpreting what they see. This classic approach was too imprecise for us and thus not satisfactory.
Therefore, we got creative again. So at the end of the deliberations, it had to be a process that leaves the surface of the Climatocork footbed untouched and at the same time allows highly individualized adjustments. It was clear to us that the most accurate model for this individualized footbed is the unloaded foot. This is because it is only soft, malleable and correctable in the unloaded state. We succeed in projecting the foot directly onto the new insole with the help of negative pressure. The footbed is literally sucked onto the corrected foot by the vacuum process, thus ensuring an ideal image for the subsequent insole.
So far and simple in theory, putting it into practice was a challenge. But with a great deal of inventiveness and patience, we succeeded in optimizing Climatocork so that it can now also be thermoplastically molded without losing its unique properties. What does that mean in concrete terms? This means that Climatocork can be individually shaped when heated and retains this shape even after cooling. In parallel, we have developed a special machine for this molding process. It generates exactly the right vacuum to form the Climatocork blank and hold it in this position until it cools.
You can find out how the molding process works in detail and the exact advantages of the Climatocork Perfect Fit System here –
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