Bart Aernouts, Ironman on 3D-print nylon insoles


On May 20th 2017,  Bart Aernouts (BEL, °1984), swam, cycled and ran himself into the IRONMAN history books with a magnificent win in the Lanzarote IRONMAN, one of the toughest and most legendary triathlon races in the world. Although insoles are only a tiny part in his total equipment, Phits Insoles is very proud to have contributed to Bart’s stunning victory.

Like any other pro triathlete, Bart is a gear freak looking for equipment that makes the difference. Not only in competition, when it all comes down to performance, but also most certainly during training. The key to race success is injury prevention while continuously pushing your boundaries. One of the vital elements is stability under your feet to align the rest of your body. Together with specific exercises and the right shoes, custom orthotics can be crucial to increase this stability and increase your efficiency. Bart Aernouts found out about the 3D print Phits Insoles through Phits Expert runners’ lab. The fully custom orthotics based on his dynamic gait analysis provide the extra support he needs during his running and cycling training sessions. The Phits Insoles help him to stay injury free and they improve his bicycle position - which is very much welcome when you're out on a 180 km time trial across Lanzarote.

A feedback session after his first training camp and race in 2017 inspired the support team at Phits Insoles to tweak Bart’s insoles for an even better fit to provide more comfort during running and during cycling barefoot. Pieter-Jan Lijnen, support engineer at Phits Insoles: “overall, the dynamic design of the orthotics supported his feet very well, but for comfort reasons we changed the top covers on both his running and cycling orthotics to polyurethane with a soft and slick textile on it. Especially for the cycling orthotics, Bart’s feedback was essential for us to choose the material and we will now use this top cover as the standard for our cycling orthotics.”

During the Lanzarote race, Bart only used his cycling orthotics. During his training sessions on the other hand, he also uses the Phits Insoles for running. The Phits Insoles help to give him the extra support and the extra stability to keep him injury free. It makes him more confident that his Achilles tendons are better protected than before.

Phits Insoles are the world’s first and only 3D print insoles fully based on dynamic parameters. It combines the evidence based footscan® orthotics algorithms with state of the art 3D printing. The printing process called Selective Laser Sintering allows a 0,1 mm accuracy and intrinsic modifications in the core of the orthotics. The technology is being used in many other medical applications, but also in automotive, aviation and aeronautics. Phits Insoles are a product of the Belgian company RS Print, a joint venture of rs scan and Materialise.

Bart Aernouts and Phits support engineer Pieter-Jan Lijnen fitting custom cycling orthotics

Bart Aernout's running orthotics