The Grand Design
We’re often asked about the unique design of our new Flexyfoot handles; how they work in comparison with traditional handles, where the inspiration comes from and what goes into designing a range of comfortable yet functional walking aids like ours. So, we wanted to share one or two of our secrets with you...
The Flexyfoot trick is to marry ergonomics with design; substance with style, functionality with desirability.
People don’t want ugly, clunky and uncomfortable products in any area of their lives and when a product is supposed to support you in performing a basic function that so many people take for granted every day, you want that product to be as slick and as seamless as possible.
That’s the approach we took when first designing the new range of Flexyfoot aids.
“Most stick handles are offset from the centre and so any weight placed on the handle does not go directly down the stick. I wanted to get the user’s weight to go right through the centre of the stick so the pressure and strain on the wrist is minimised, making the user more stable in the process."
“The handle is also designed to be wider so that the load is spread over a greater surface of the hand, reducing the instances of high load points and thus avoiding injury. To get enough strength in the handle, it made sense to break with tradition and create a sleek, oval structure that not only provides comfort and support, but looks pretty fabulous too.”
Creating great products is about understanding what users want but don’t already have access to. And coming up with a solution to fill that gap. There’s lots to understand about regulatory and standard requirements, commercial drivers from competitors, production costs, sales costs and implications, “It’s really then you can start to think about where there is scope to design something that ticks all of the boxes: that’s beautiful, desirable, functional, cost effective and can be manufactured reliably.”
From the initial concept of the new handles, through to realising the actual design and development of the final product, took about six months in total; a vast prototype development and rigorous testing process was embarked upon to ensure not only compliance of the new handles to regulatory standards but to ensure the comfort, size and design were all spot on for those who walk with aids.
There are three handle options available as part of the new range of Flexyfoot products. The signature Easy Grip Oval Handle, the soft feel Derby Style Handle and the tactile Cork Handle. All are available on our telescopic or folding sticks that come in either black or blue. Again, in creating the balance between function and design, the Easy Grip Oval Handles combine two materials; one for the structure to provide strength, and the other a soft "rubber zone" where the fingers grip the handle for that tactile comfort.