Why this design technology is so important and how research is working to make us safer ‒ plus we bust a few helmet myths along the way.
By: Alison King | March 26, 2021
If you’ve purchased a new helmet in the past couple of years, chances are you’re already aware of MIPS technology. If not, read on and we’ll explain what MIPS is and why it’s so important ‒ while busting a few helmet myths along the way. What is MIPS?
MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, and that’s exactly what it is – a design technology that allows helmets to provide more protection to the wearer in the case of an impact or fall. While MIPS has been widely used in sports such as cycling, downhill skiing, and snowboarding for years, it’s a relatively new addition to equestrian helmets. How does it work?
During an angled impact, rotational motion causes damage to the brain, often resulting in a concussion or more serious TBI (traumatic brain injury). The MIPS magic lies in a thin layer of foam added to the inside of a helmet. This low-friction layer, as it’s called, is designed to move inside the helmet shell to provide a shearing effect. The liner – and the wearer’s head – can slide 10 to 15mm relative to the helmet shell in all directions, dissipating the energy from a fall or an impact away from the brain.
Traditional helmets are designed to protect the skull in the case of a linear impact – a fall straight down onto the head. The hard helmet shell is tested for its ability to withstand an impact and prevent a rock or other hard object from penetrating that shell and reaching the skull. However, they are not designed to prevent the forces generated by a fall or impact from being absorbed by the brain, nor are they tested for performance when the impact is on an angle – a much more realistic simulation of a fall from a horse...