POWERLACE: An Auto-Lacing Shoe
Everyone hates tying their shoe laces. Powerlace, a company in St. Hubert, Canada has designed and created an auto-lacing sneaker. The new Powerlace auto-lacing system is the most effective means of tying shoelaces the hands-free way. Just by inserting your foot automatically engages the lacing mechanism.
Frederick Labbe, co-founder of Powerlace always hated tying his shoes and wanted to do something about it so he, along with his Powerlace business partners worked full time on the project together. Dozens of prototypes later, the design reached perfection. The total energy required for the lacing system’s mechanism is provided for by the weight of one’s body. The Powerlace shoe has been extensively tested in laboratories and has been subject to the wear and tear conditions when in actual use. To reverse the process and loosen the shoelaces, the activation of the small lever at the lower back end of the shoe is all that is required.
The presser is the part of the Powerlace system that is concealed beneath the heel area of the midsole. The presser serves as a force sensor and transmits this power to the lacing mechanism. The puller provides the connection between the tension applied by the mechanism and the direct pressure applied by the lacing. The shoe sole is one of the key elements of the design. It serves as the principal support system for the mechanism and as an anchorage for the lever. The lever is what unlocks the mechanism with the help of maximum strength and nylon coated stainless steel wires that allow for a wide opening of the shoe. The Powerlace shoelaces are made out of heavy duty material that uses Fiber Technology for maximum resistance against breakage and wear. Powerlace has developed a very unique lace lock system. When you first try on you Powerlace shoes and adjust it to you desired tightness, the system remembers the previous tension and re –applies whenever you put your shoes on again. The shoe tongue is designed to automatically loosen up once pressure from the laces is released allowing the foot to easily slide in or out of the shoe.
The engineers who designed the Powerlace system developed this auto-lacing technique that does not require the use of any batteries, motors, or gears. The mere body weight of the wearer is all the energy the Powerlace system requires to work. The mechanism has gone through many tests to achieve its flawlessness. The designers made sure that the system would easily be able to support up to 200,000 lacing cycles. Currently the men’s running shoe design with a US size ranging from 8-12 will be ready for production if funding is achieved. The shoes are expected to be ready by May 2015. The shoe will be priced at CAD 195 (Canadian Dollars).