An Insole company focuses on new concepts
BMZ is a Japanese company that makes a ton of insoles for a lot of activities like football (soccer), skiing, running, and even for stuff like hiking and normal on your feet work. In 2019, the company tried its hand at making football boots through a successful fundraising campaign. Now, they are back once again, this time trying to not only take what they learned from their previous release, but to also try and have a more widely available boot.
The name “Kiou” itself seems to be best translated as “Kicking King” which is a bold claim, though no worse than some of the other stuff on the market.
Probably the most interesting thing about BMZ is their patented insoles which are designed on the CCLP Theory. This basically states that the entire foot and the arch can be supported by pushing up on the cuboid bone. This is because all of the bones in the foot are structured in a way that they rest on the cuboid bone. By adding support to only the cuboid bone, they can still support the arch and alleviate pain on the rest of the foot without making a bulky insole. This also means that their insoles can fit in pretty much every shoe without changing the fit very much. It is an interesting idea, and the insoles are quite popular.
The Capere boots themselves are shaped in a way to keep your toes straighter in order let you grip the ground with your front toes. This also apparently allows you to better use the power of your foot when running and kicking. The toe of the boot flexes easily both ways so you can really push down into the ground when you are going to sprint. The interesting thing here about this function is that in some ways it is similar to the old Puma evoPower 1.3. In the case of the evoPower, the flexible toe was designed that way because Puma claimed that through testing, they found that the ball can be hit harder when the foot is allowed to move more naturally. So, there does seem to be some history with this idea, even if the applications are different.
As part of this flexible toe, there is no upward curve on the boot like you will find on speed boots like the adidas X models that are equipped with the CarbiTex soleplate, or a like a lot of ASICS’ boots. Of course, the idea behind an upward curved toe is to help the body easily be in a position for forward momentum by placing the balance on the foot closer to the front of the shoe. This makes the body lean forward more and conventional wisdom says that this makes it easier for your body to maintain speed and cause less wear and tiredness on your muscles when pushing off and keeping your stride.
BMZ is going against that notion here with their flat toe, because again according to them, a flat toe will allow you to make proper use of the strength in your feet and toes. It is an interesting idea for sure and quite bold for a smaller company to make.
Of course, the Capere comes with one of BMZ’s insoles, which BMZ says will help reduce the likelihood of injury and help protect your feet from damage that can result by playing football for a long time. It seems like they are also referring to protecting the foot from any long-term damage as well.
Even the logo on the side of the foot is supposedly designed in a way that helps support the foot when cutting and turning, but I am not as sold on that as the rest of their work. They did also reduce the size of the tongue so that there is less pressure on the ankle. And even the heel was re-worked to give more stability.
The company also says that they can repair the shoes, but it does come at a price, though it is not expensive, with a sole separation fix costing around 1000 yen. The standard Kiou Campere model only comes in black and only comes in medium width. It costs 27,500 yen (about $242 US, 177 GBP, 208 EUR). It has a kangaroo leather forefoot with a synthetic midfoot and heel.
There is a top model just called Kiou (Kicking King) that comes in an all-white kangaroo leather, which is the pair spotted by @BOOTHYPE on the feet of Albirex Niigata player Ryoya Taniguchi, does come in different widths as well. The most interesting part about this model is that it is custom made from a 3D last made of your foot by BMZ at their studio. A very appealing idea that treats you the same as a professional. The problem is that there is a premium price that comes with it: the boots come in at 41,800 yen ($356, 270 GBP, 317 EUR). So, a brilliant concept but one that is not readily accessible at this time. Still, it is cool that there is this option.
BMZ undeniably have some unique ideas about how the foot functions and how that should be translated to football boots, and I would love to see the keep taking this concept further.
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All Photos credit (unless stated): BMZ