Oscar winner Natalie Portman could have saved herself hours of agony while filming ballet film Black Swan by wearing a new type of gel-based ballet shoe.
The shoes, recently released by London shoemaker Capulet, contain a shock-absorbing gel that hardens on impact, cushioning the dancer’s foot when landing. According to the company, the shoes will last 30 times longer than traditional ballet shoes.
“The Pointe shoe uses d3o material with intelligent molecules that flow as you move but on shock, lock together to absorb impact energy,” the company says.
d3o is a material commonly used for impact protection, developed by British chemical engineering company d3o Lab.
The lightweight material is highly flexible and malleable until subjected to abrupt force, making it useful in protective clothing in situations where the wearer may be exposed to blunt trauma.
For example, the material has been used in the production of protective garments worn by Olympic skiers.
Ballet shoes and sportswear are two items that have had a dose of d3o but are there other products that could benefit different sports? Indeed, with the government pumping $14 million so far this year into new inventions, innovation in the area of sport equipment could be well rewarded.