One of the most famous and grueling triathlons in the world, the Ironman in Lanzarote consists of a 3,86 km swim, a 180,25 km bicycle ride and a marathon (42,20 km). Another legendary triathlon is the Challenge Roth, which takes place in Germany every year. Belgian triathlete Bart Aernouts won both the Lanzarote Ironman and the Challenge Roth of 2017 – and he did it with his 3D-printed Phits insoles.
Popularized in the 80’s, the triathlon is a race which combines swimming, biking and running. The Ironman and Challenge Roth are some of the most difficult triathlons in the world – and only the toughest athletes are able to finish these races, let alone win them.
Bart Aernouts trying on his Phits insoles
Bart Aernouts is a professional triathlete who is well aware of the intense months of preparation prior to running a triathlon. A key part of preparing for a race is avoiding injuries while building up strength and stamina. For that, stability is essential – and custom orthotics are a good way to achieve that. Bart found out about Phits Insoles through the Phits expert runner lab, where his running gait was measured and scanned.
Designing the insoles on the computer
Phits then used that data to design a custom insole which could cushion and support Bart’s feet according to his dynamic pressure points. Once the insoles were designed on the computer, they were sent to Materialise to get 3D printed with our Laser Sintering machines.
Pieter-Jan Lijnen, support engineer at Phits Insoles, explains that
“Overall, the dynamic design of the orthotics supported [Bart’s] 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.”
Bart's customized 3D-printed insoles
“With their smaller volume, my bike insoles fit perfectly and provided exactly the sort of comfort and support I needed while biking. And the same goes for my running insoles – I ran almost 80% of my training runs with them, as well as the marathon in Challenge Roth, and didn’t have a single blister after the race!”
Bart used his Phits cycling orthotic insoles during the 180km bicycle races of the Lanzarote Ironman and the Challenge Roth, which helped him stay injury-free and improve his biking position. We wish him success in his future races!