Decathlete Jeremy Taiwo’s Olympic dream was up in the air for the last year, partly due to injury and partly due to the financial pressures of training. But a Brooks Running sponsorship helped solve both issues. Part of the Brooks Running’s sponsorship agreement involved personalized sprinting shoes featuring 3D printed spike plates created by Brooks Running and additive manufacturer Studio Fathom. The additively manufactured shoes help with Taiwo’s lingering hamstring issue because the shoe and spike plates were built to his exact specifications.
Not yet available in stores, this style of shoe is still in development. Gaining real feedback from real athletes that are Brooks-sponsored runners, such as Taiwo, is important for Brooks Running as they work toward perfecting their prototype. The shoes and spike plates have been rigorously tested during a product feedback session days before the decathlete made his mark at the Olympic Trials where Taiwo took 2nd place overall.
Taiwo requires a fast start to the 100 m run, the first event in the decathlon. The spike plate must have the correct flex, stiffness, and rebound. To test a design, shoe manufacturers traditionally rely on injection or compression molded parts—a process which takes a long time to prep and produce.
Brooks Running was able to use functional prototypes made in a durable Nylon material to survive real-world product testing. Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) was the additive technology.