Thermal Comfort of Winter Cycling Footwear
Keywords:footwear, cycling, thermal comfort, CFD, winter, insulation
AbstractFootwear plays a key role for the overall thermal comfort in cold environment.?The overall goal of the research project was to improve an existing winter cycling shoe towards optimised thermal comfort ? also considering the influence of headwind on skin foot temperature. In a first step a computational fluid dynamic analysis (CFD) was performed to detect the influence of headwind on defined foot regions at three different pedal/foot positions. These findings were implemented in the further development of the new shoe model. In a second step the newly developed winter cycling shoe was evaluated within a subject study by means of thermal imaging and subjective perception.? The findings of both CFD analysis and subject study clearly illustrate that the dorsum of the foot and especially the toe region is most susceptible for thermal comfort during cycling in cold weather conditions. In that context appropriate footwear should offer optimal insulation properties and protection against wind and moisture. The material and design interventions applied to the new Vaude shoe clearly confirm the opportunity to improve the thermal comfort, which was not only based on objective data but also on subjective feedback.
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