National Science Foundation Grant to Further OESH Research

…and make OESH Shoes even more awesome (if that were even possible).

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What makes OESH unique is that everything we do is driven by medical and biomechanical research. Not just research that we know about; research that my colleagues and I do. Which is one reason we are one of the most awesome shoe companies there is.

Currently we use high tech gait laboratories with force plates and 3-D motion cameras. They measure all sorts of parameters relevant to injuries and performance. These million dollar laboratories have been essential to our discoveries. Discoveries such as the link between traditional types of shoes and knee osteoarthritis, and finding the footwear characteristics that improve foot and ankle stability and posture.

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Now imagine if we could extend our study of gait beyond a hospital or university laboratory. That is the idea behind the research grant my colleagues and I were just awarded from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Basically, what we will do over the next several years is develop new technology to miniaturize that million-dollar gait laboratory into shoes.

The technology is pretty neat in that it will rely upon specialized Inertial Measurement Units (IMUs) rather than the typical GPS currently being used to estimate movement. Integrating this specialized (and patented) IMU technology into shoes will allow for truly accurate gait data over long periods of time.

Using new mathematical algorithms developed by my colleagues John Lach, Ph.D., Brad Bennett, Ph.D., and Shawn Russell, Ph.D., the data from the IMU sensors will be able to accurately determine gait parameters. We’ll be able to determine not only the number of steps one takes and how large each step is, but detailed information on what activities someone performs, such as walking up or down stairs; walking up or down slopes, walking versus running, etc.

This will allow us to collect oodles upon oodles of data that we will constantly be comparing to the oodles of data that we are already collecting in the laboratory. More importantly, we’ll be analyzing all that data; something in which our research team is especially adept.

And just like all of our research, we will be using it to keep making the best shoes on Earth.

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