Monday, August 05, 2013
The cushion revolution: New order in running shoes
Tried everything else, so it’s now back to square one. New models of runner’s shoes are buttressed, light weight and offer ultra comfort and cushioning. Polymer technology allows manufacturers to produce sports footwear that are robust, hard wearing and weigh a fraction of the weight of traditional road runnings shoes. General acceptance of rocker soled sport shoes has helped fashion acceptance of buttress styled (broader in base then the uppers) footwear. The added surface contact instantly reduces peak pressures on vulnerable parts of the foot during stance phase and helps with lateral stability of the foot in ground contact. One popular model is the Conquest ( Hoka One One) which weighs 10.5 ounces. Makers ‘claim include light weight road runners are ideal for athletes coping with bad knees and or history of Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI). The shaped soles have a rocker action which purportedly helps propel the weight bearing foot forward during propulsive phase of gait. Heels are firmly supported in the midsole with additional thickness to the EVA midsole adding comfort and cushioning to the foot over rough road surfaces and uneven trails.
Brooks too are keen to break into the comfortable road runners market with their new The Brooks Transcend model which will be available early next year.
(Ed. One criticism of heavily cushioned footwear generally is it has the potential to adversely affect natural proprioception. Independent evidence to support these claims is scant however at present.)