Bootfitter: Digital Foot Model Breaks in the Shoes for You, Reports NUST MISIS

Young engineers from NUST MISIS, together with the Karfidov Lab design bureau, have developed an innovative mechanism for anatomical stretching — Bootfitter. The device completely eliminates the long process of breking in shoes, which is especially important for feet with non-standard anatomy, as well as for athletes using hard boots (skaters, football players, skiers, etc.). It takes a few hours to safely adjust shoes to fit the foot with any features and completely eliminate discomfort when wearing. The effect of stretching is comparable to wearing a pair for 2 weeks.

Bootfitter is an individual accessory that is an exact 3D copy of a human foot. It has a unique mechanism, that smoothly changes the geometry of the artificial foot, which makes it easier to install the device into shoes and the stretching process itself.

The Bootfitter is made in three stages. At the first stage, it is necessary to conduct a 3D scan of the human foot and obtain its digital model. At the next stage, the model is processed by special 3D algorithms — a mechanism is built into it and parts of the foot are being “cut” for 3D printing. The last step is the assembly: the printed parts are integrated into the stretch mechanism.

“The mechanism consists of several parts. All the complex mechanics are hidden inside, the person only sees the handle that needs to be rotated to create tension inside the shoe, pressing the parts into the shoe. Inside, the mechanism consists of several gears, more than 100 metal parts, springs, bearings, guides. All these parts are made of steel with high precision so that no gaps arise during the assembly, only in this way the mechanism can work efficiently. To make it easy for a person to work with it, the mechanism has a rectangular thread. It quickly transfers efforts and provides the necessary stretching, ” said Aleksey Karfidov, head of the department of technological equipment engineering at NUST MISIS, co-founder and general designer of Karfidov Lab.

According to the developers, there are several levels of protection in the mechanism, for example, blocking so that the user does not tear his shoes or break the device with excessive efforts.

As Aleksey Karfidov notes, the mechanism is undoubtedly the heart of the device. Its main feature is the ability to change the length and the fullness of shoes. A modification of the mechanism for different types and sizes of shoes, for male and female feet, makes it possible to easily and conveniently use the bootfitter.

“The Bootfitter is designed not only for people with special or injured feet, or professional athletes, but also for almost any person. Indeed, in addition to the main function — breaking in shoes, the device has other capabilities. For example, having such a device, you expand the possibilities of choosing shoes. The exclusion of the process of breaking in with its invariable companions — calluses and corns, will help preserve the health of the foot, ” said the founder of the BOOTFITTER project, Alexander Kulenko.