Monday, June 19, 2006

Revolutionary football boot ready for the market

The Premier League of the Australian state of Victoria has reportedly successfully trialled a revolutionary new football boot, the Zygo. It was developed by Con Hatzilias who got interested in footwear design during marketing studies at Melbourne's RMIT University after he had a chance meeting with David Miers, the man who developed the Blades football boot, which replaced studs on the sole of the boot with a series of diagonal blades. "I had always known I wanted to do something with sport, make something, make a contribution that would stay on as my legacy. Meeting David was a spark, it helped focus my thoughts on making footwear," Hatzilias told Nabila Ahmed of The Age (Melbourne).

After weeks of drawing and sketching, an idea came to him about making a boot that would be as sensitive to touch and feel as a human fingertip. He thought if he could transpose the patterns of a fingerprint onto a boot, then that boot might make a player more sensitive to the touch of the ball and thus lend greater accuracy and consistency. He drew a design encapsulating a multi-ringed skin for the boot. He called this design Zygo technology. Zygo, from Greek zugo, means pair, symbolising in this case a pair of shoes, two circles on each ring on the shoe, a pair of feet, two teams on the field, two halves of a match and two goals at either end.

Hatzilias, who now works at Tennis Victoria, got his patented design on ABC television's The New Inventors program and, from that publicity, a group of business investors, ranging from the gaming company Tabcorp to the sports goods industry, formed a company, ESUS. Since last year ESUS has opened operations in Australia and New Zealand making and selling basketball shoes, health shoes and socks to sports goods retailers, and plans to release Hatzilias' Zygo shoes — costing between A$69 for children and A$189 for the top-of-the-range adult model — into shops in time for Christmas.

Further details from: Stuart Mitchell, Email: stuart@esus.com.au, Tel: +61 (0)3 9425 9900; Fax: +61 (0)3 9425 9911. Web: www.esus.com.au

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