A custom-formulated thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) from Teknor Apex Company has helped China’s ANTA Sports Products Limited to develop a running shoe that exhibits outstanding rebound resilience, enabling wearers to run for longer distances.
One of the world’s largest sportswear companies, ANTA collaborated with Teknor Apex to develop a high-dampening material for the midsole of a new line of running shoes. The midsole is a thick layer between the insole and outsole that is typically composed of a soft cushioning material. For its new running shoe, they collaborated to draw upon technology from outside the footwear industry to develop a midsole construction incorporating Monprene TPE. The companies carried out 40,000 running impact tests to identify the optimum solution that delivered the best rebound performance over extended periods of time.
The key property for this performance is rebound resilience, a measure of the energy returned to the runner in comparison with the energy applied for deformation of the midsole upon the impact with each of the runner’s strides. While standard midsoles on the market achieve 50% rebound, according to ANTA, this new midsole achieves a rebound of 70%. The reserved energy is transformed into running power, enabling the runner to go for longer distances.
“The collaboration between ANTA and Teknor Apex challenges conventional thought about running shoes by focusing on the resilience of the midsole, not just its cushioning property,” said Serene Cheng Sook Ee, Business Director for Teknor Apex’s Thermoplastic Elastomer Division. “The customized Monprene solution adds more spring back into each stride of the running shoe, and it also provides added comfort in ANTA leisure shoes.”
According to Teknor Apex, the customized Monprene is a 60 Shore A TPE that provides wrinkle-resistance, low compression set, tear resistance, and kink resistance. It exhibits excellent elasticity and remains flexible at low temperatures.