Lightweight running shoe with composite plate

Puma has developed a lightweight shoe incorporating a carbon fiber reinforced plastic plate which it says can improve a runner’s momentum and propulsion.

The plate is made from Tepex Dynalite material supplied by Envalior, a new company resulting from a merger of DSM and Lanxess’ materials divisions.

According to the company, it features a woven textile fabric of continuous carbon fibers embedded into a polyamide 12 matrix, which in turn is embedded in a foam made of polyether block amide (PEBA), which is made with infused nitrogen as a propellant. The reinforced continuous fibers in the plate extend across the entire length of the shoe, improving stiffness and helping to stabilize the foam, Envalior said. It has a density of 1.35 g/cm3 so that a size 43 shoe weights around 200 g.

“Thanks to its high rebound elasticity, the plate […] returns the midsole quickly to its original shape after every step,” said Dr Dirk Bonefeld, head of global product management at Envalior. “This generates a momentum, with which energy is then returned. As a result, the rolling motion of the runner’s foot is supported, which generates additional forward propulsion.”