Light Insoles: A New Approach to Custom Footwear
Light Insoles: A New Approach to Custom Footwear
Join us in developing a new manufacturing technology for high-quality, custom insoles. For running, cycling, and now work shoes.
Join us in developing a new manufacturing technology for high-quality, custom insoles. For running, cycling, and now work shoes. Read more
Newly Added Light Insoles for Work Shoes. Details Below!
A BOLD SOLE
At Light, we are completely rethinking how custom insoles are designed, manufactured, and integrated into footwear. Our new manufacturing technology enables us to offer custom fit, ultralight and ultra-supportive insoles at a price point that is cost competitive with mass manufactured products.
EVERY FOOT IS UNIQUE
SO IS EVERY INSOLE WE MAKE
We have developed an innovative, environmentally-friendly patent-pending approach to manufacture custom performance insoles based on light-cured composite technology. By eliminating the need for any metal or plaster foot mold in the manufacturing process, we can custom manufacture lightweight, high-performance insoles that perfectly fit to your foot and are cost competitive with mass produced insoles that come in limited sizes and shapes.
Our patent-pending light-curing process creates an ultra-supportive, lightweight insole in less than 2 minutes. The light-cured composite material is “thermoset”, which means it will retain its shape and support over time, unlike many of the heat-formed semi-custom products available today.
COMPARISON TO EXISTING INSOLES / ORTHOTICS
RIDE LIGHT (Custom Insoles for Cycling Shoes)
Our LIGHT CYCLING INSOLES include thin performance foam under the ball of your feet to help alleviate pressure when pedaling. The top layer is a blue diamond wicking fabric that helps draw sweat away from your feet, and our insoles are ultrathin, enabling an easy fit into your cycling shoes.
LIGHT CYCLING INSOLE DESIGN
RUN LIGHT (Custom Insoles for Running and Walking Shoes)
As with our cycling version, our LIGHT RUNNING INSOLES have been carefully designed to be supportive, lightweight, and ultrathin enabling a seamless fit into your favorite running or walking shoes. They have been race tested on the trail and road – in fact, Caitlin Jacobsen won her first race this year wearing one of our early prototypes (see www.larunningmama.com). Our running version also includes high-impact foam under the heel of your foot, and they are topped with a gray wicking fabric to help keep your feet cool when you are on the move.
LIGHT RUNNING INSOLE DESIGN
WORK LIGHT (Custom Insoles for Work Shoes)
As a tribute to those that wish to be in their cycling or running shoes all day every day, but have to face the real world in work shoes, we have added a new product line designed just for you. These custom insoles are specifically designed for work shoes that do not have removable insoles. They include a supple microsuede polyester top layer and a very comfortable dual density foam under the heel. The bottom layer fabric provides an anti-slip surface and, as with our cycling and running insoles, they are ultrathin for an easy fit.
Our new Mold-to-Sole Technology works like this…
MOLD: Once we begin fulfilment after our Kickstarter campaign, we will send you a foot impression box. Follow the instructions to imprint your feet and then return the box to us using the accompanying return label.
MAKE: We will use our patent-pending light-curing process to quickly make our ultra-supportive, yet lightweight custom insoles that perfectly fit your feet.
FIT: Once you receive your Light Insoles, there are multiple ways to fit into your shoes. Try different fit options to see what works best for you.
FLY: Now it’s time to get out and enjoy your next run or ride!
A NEW APPROACH TO "ADDITIVE" MANUFACTURING
The recent explosion of various additive manufacturing and 3D printing techniques has begun to change how products are designed and manufactured. These additive techniques enable enormous design freedom, but are fairly limited when making “thin-walled”, high-stiffness structures. By combining principles of additive manufacturing with traditional composites manufacturing, and introducing light-curing resin technology into the mix, we have developed a new technique that can create lightweight, thin, custom shaped parts with excellent strength and stiffness in just minutes.
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PROCESS
Our manufacturing process does not involve any VOCs (volatile organic compounds). We do not use any solvent-containing primers or adhesives to assemble the different layers of our insoles. In fact, all the layers of our custom performance insoles are integrated together in one step with a single exposure to light. We also designed our custom insoles to simply add the necessary support to the existing foam in your shoes, rather than wastefully throwing away the foam insole that was made to fit your shoe. We are also working on making our light-curable resin biodegradable.
Although our light-curable materials may appear complex, our new manufacturing process is relatively simple and extremely energy efficient because we utilize low-energy consuming UV-LEDs to cure our resin. As we grow, we envision localized manufacturing facilities throughout the USA.
My name is Alan Jacobsen, founder of Light Insoles. After a successful career working in R&D related to advanced materials, manufacturing, and product development, and earning many accolades along the way – including over 40 issued patents and many more pending, publications in top scientific journals, and awards such as the 2012 Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award – I decided to set-out on my own and rethink how custom footwear products are made. My goal, however, is to create more than just a new insole company with great products. I founded Light Insoles to demonstrate that new innovative ideas in advanced materials and manufacturing can create better performing, fully customized products at a price point that is comparable to mass-produced products (true, functional mass customization).
We are a small, focused team that is positioned to significantly grow after a successful Kickstarter campaign. My father, Chris Jacobsen, a retired accountant and former small business owner, takes care of all the “paperwork”, which allows me to focus on building the technology and company. My wife, Caitlin Jacobsen (shown above) is also a key part of the company. Most importantly, Caitlin supported my decision to leave my joint position as Department Manager at HRL Laboratories and CTO at Architected Materials, Inc. to start Light Insoles. She also didn’t fully object when I took over our garage to begin product and manufacturing development. In addition to her moral support, Caitlin is also one of our primary product testers and in charge of social media.
We are also grateful to have kind, talented friends that have helped contribute to the launch of this Kickstarter campaign, including Kristy Jennings at KJ Design, Nathan Anderson at Shotgun Digital, Joe Zook (sound engineering), Jeff Xander at Xander Photography, David Colclasure and Clark McIlvain (camerawork), and all our product testers.
TIMELINE & REWARDS
With your generous Kickstarter contribution, you will help me move out of my garage and into a manufacturing facility in Southern California. With an official manufacturing location identified, we will begin building a high-caliber team to fulfill your rewards and further develop and expand our product lines and US-based manufacturing capability.
We have put together a range of exciting reward options to fit the contribution level that works for you. We are offering our Light Custom Running, Cycling, and Work Insoles that are made to perfectly fit to your foot. We have also teamed with Borah Teamwear (www.mtborah.com) and SockGuy (www.sockguy.com) to include cycling jerseys, running tops (singlets), and socks as part of our rewards. After we are successfully funded, we’ll get going on making your custom pair of Light Insoles, and Borah Teamwear and SockGuy will begin manufacturing the clothing designs shown below.
Risks and challenges
As I’m sure many of you in the Kickstarter community already know firsthand, developing a new product is challenging. Developing a new, innovative manufacturing technology to make that product is even more challenging. And building a successful company around a new technology can be even more challenging. However, in my mind, one of the greatest risks and challenges is simply the uncertainty in the demand for a new product. Thanks to you and Kickstarter, the biggest challenge is a little bit easier.
For the remaining challenges, I believe I have the background and experience to lead our team through the early stages of our new manufacturing company. Before starting Light Insoles, I led the development of a new materials technology from the ground up, built and led a research team, and helped launch a new manufacturing company to commercialize that technology (see www.architectedmaterials.com).
Our prototypes are working out great and are currently being tested by our family and friends (with rave reviews), so we will undoubtedly get you an excellent product. However, our aggressive timeline is a risk.
In my garage, I can currently make 10 pairs of custom insoles in one day (and that’s just me). As we build the team and streamline the manufacturing in a new facility, we plan to quickly get the production rate up to 50 pairs/day. By September 2015, we plan to have the production rate at 100 pairs/day, with the capability to quickly add additional capacity as needed.
If we run into delays on getting our new manufacturing site up and running, we will do everything we can to get things back on track. And of course, we will share all the experiences along the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (57 days)