arcia Kilgore, the Fitflop boss, has known what women want for twenty years already. The 41-year old married mother of two is regularly referred to as a serial entrepreneur, but claims she’s more savvy with zeitgeist shifts than spreadsheets. Born in Canada, in the tiny farming town of Outlook, Saskatchewan (pop. 2000), Kilgore finished high school in a neighbouring city – Saskatoon – and moved to New York City in 1987 with $300 in her pocket. She worked as a personal trainer to make money for University tuition, opting for a summer crash-course in facials when her celebrity clients headed off for the Hamptons. She started her beauty business from a one-room office downtown in New York City’s Soho, and is credited with kick-starting the day spa boom in the mid 1990’s by opening BLISS SPAS in New York City and London. Her more recent bargain cosmetics collection – Soap & Glory – has prompted a designer to high street beauty blitz. Soap & Glory’s credo? You shouldn’t have to spend an arm and a leg to moisturise one. In 2005, with one booming business under her belt, one in the works, and with time with her kids taking priority over time on the treadmill, Kilgore realised that there must be thousands of women like her who were looking for the ‘cliff-notes’1 version of toning.
Two years, and several rounds of R&D later, she launched Fitflop. Kilgore’s knack for delivering ‘what women want’ has made FitFlop™ (like Soap & Glory and Bliss before it) a huge success. She currently lives in London with husband Thierry and her sons Raphael and Louis , and commutes to work on the tube, where she’s obsessed with what people are wearing on their feet. FitFlop footwear is biomechanically engineered to help tone and tighten your leg muscles while you walk in them. Studies at the Centre for Human Performance at LSBU show that normal walking in FitFlop sandals can help increase leg and bottom muscle activity (up to 30%).
Absorb more shock than a normal shoe (up to 22%); help realign ground force reaction closer to your joints. Case studies were performed on Microwobbleboard technology over a forty-eight month period by Dr David Cook, Senior Lecturer in Biomechanics, and Darren James at the Centre for Human Performance at London South Bank University (LSBU). FitFlop Microwobbleboard™ technology was engineered in 2006 by Dr David Cook and Darren James at London South Bank University (LSBU).
FitFlop footwear features patent-pending, muscle-loading Microwobbleboard™ technology to increase the time that your muscles are engaged every single time you take a step. The sandals were created in a collaboration between Bliss Spa founder and one-time personal trainer Marcia Kilgore, and biomechanists Dr David Cook and Darren James at London South Bank University (LSBU). FitFlop footwear features patent-pending muscle-loading Microwobbleboard™ technology and was independently tested at Salford University in Manchester by Dr Philip Graham Smith & Richard Jones to verify their pro-muscle activity prior to launch. Research is continuing with Salford University with a government-funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) with a full-time researcher, Carina Price.
FitFlop has also been approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. In a recent 20 person study conducted by Salford University, results showed that the pressure-loading rate of a foot wearing a FitFlop sandal was reduced by an average of 25%, pressure in the toes was reduced by an average of 30%, and pressure in the heel was reduced by an average of 15% when compared to a foot in the control shoe. An average 8% increase in contact area between the foot and the shoe was found with FitFlop wearers, with the increase manifesting mainly under the arch area. Research was undertaken as part of an ongoing two-year UK Government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the University of Salford’s research team to understand the biomechanical benefits of FitFlop footwear.
Data was collected on 20 healthy female subjects using the Medilogic in-shoe pressure system. Each subject walked wearing pressure insoles in FitFlop sandals and the high-street flat pump. Wearing FitFlop footwear can also realign ground reaction force towards your core, helping alleviate back, pelvis and knee stress. Biomechanist Dr Philip Graham and Richard Jones at Salford University have identified that gait analysis techniques (motion analysis, forces, electromyography and in-shoe pressure analysis) can provide us with an insight as to how the Microwobbleboard™ multi-density midsole is responsible for alleviating a host of muscular-skeletal conditions.
Subjects were fitted with small reflective markers and electrodes, photographed and filmed while walking to monitor movement. This information was used to create an animation of a skeleton walking in exactly the same way as the subject. These preliminary findings form part of a two year UK Government funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership to research the biomechanical benefits of FitFlop Microwobbleboard ™ Technology. When compared to a control shoe. Case studies were performed on Microwobbleboard technology over a forty-eight month period by Dr David Cook, Senior Lecturer in Biomechanics, and Darren James at the Centre for Human Performance at London South Bank University. For more information we invite you to visit the link below the pictures.