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Heelless running shoe

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by NewsBot, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, something doesn't add up. A shoe that weighs 12 times heavier than a pair of vibrams would weigh 4.5 pounds for each shoe! Unless these shoes have motors and wheels, I don't see how any one could effectively run in a pair of shoes that weighs 9 pounds.

    Dana, SNMP
  2. MY bad, should be 1.2 Kg heavier per pair of shoes , still pretty incredible though.
  3. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Yes, hard to imagine someone running a marathon in sub 5 min miles with shoes that heavy.

    I also can't imagine running up a 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado wearing anything but light shoes. Gravity is a killer, gravity combined with reduced oxygen from being at a higher level in the atmosphere sometimes can feel hopeless.

  4. Yeah, great. So if I manufactured a pair of shoes with a surface stiffness which was within the metabolic efficient range, as long as it was less than 1.2 Kg heavier than the vibrams it would still be more metabolically efficient. This doesn't even take into account the reduced leg stiffness which should be observed with the vibrams and further increases their metabolic cost- right, Dana?

    I think it is possible to make shoes with a metabolically efficient surface stiffness which are less than 1.2 kg heavier than a pair of vibrams. In fact, I know it is since the required component is really, really light (only a couple of grams) adding this to racing shoe would still provide stacks of metabolic cost benefit.
  5. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, right. I would think it would be an amazing experience to wear shoes that weigh 2 pounds each that are so metabolically efficient with respect to surface stiffness that it compensates for the added weight. Then if you can achieve that same surface stiffness efficiency in a 12 oz shoe, you will become very wealthy.

    Let me know when the new shoes are available, I'd enjoy trying them out.

  6. Dana, nobody is talking about making running shoes that weigh 2 pounds each- as well you know. However, you do seem incapable of countering my argument that unless a pair of running shoes with a metabolically tuned surface stiffness were greater than 1.2 kg heavier than a pair of vibrams, they would still be more metabolically efficient. There is no reason why a current racing flat (take your pick) cannot have the component added to them, I'm guessing if it weighs 0.5 oz then that's about it. I have one in my hand= it doesn't register on my kitchen scales so I can't give you an exact weight right now. But let me try and make it really simple for anyone following this to avoid your attempted obfuscation of the facts: if I have two pairs of shoes both weighing 12 oz (whatever that is in real money?): one pair with a metabolically tuned surface stiffness, and one pair with a non-metabolically tuned surface stiffness, the pair with metabolically tuned stiffness will be more metabolically efficient. The only way the shoes with the metabolically tuned stiffness would be less metabolically efficient than the shoes without the metabolically tuned surface would be if they weighed 1.2 kg more. Good bye Dana.
  7. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, I wasn't even aware you where having an argument so yes, that would make me incapable of countering it.

    What's with the Vibrams? Sure I wear 3 different models of them along with 7 other models of traditional running shoes.

    When your shoe gets to the market, I would sincerely be interested in adding an 11th pair of running shoes to my inventory in order to check them out.

  8. Dana, I didn't say we were having an argument, rather, I referred to your inability to counter my argument: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument Hence, we may deduce that my argument is valid.

    Reducing the weight of a shoe will have little metabolic effect when compared to modulating its stiffness. End of...

    All being well, you'll be able to add the product to existing shoes.
  9. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Simon, yes I agree that your argument is valid.

    I am very curious and interested in a shoe that modulates stiffness.

    I'll look forward to trying them when the time arrives.

  10. All shoes modulate stiffness. The key is in modulating to the right stiffness.
  11. Tkemp

    Tkemp Active Member

    Dana, which shoe manufacturing company do you work for? ..... just out of interest
  12. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    T, I have worked for IBM for almost 29 yrs now. I have never worked for a shoe company or in retail sales selling shoes. I am a life long passionate runner of 40 years. In my opinion, there is only one piece of equipment that matters to a runner, a pair of running shoes. With the barefoot movement, even that single piece of equipment is in question. In any case, given the interest I have in running, it only makes sense to have an understanding of a runner's primary piece of gear.

    I am flattered that it appears to you that I work for a shoe company. What I know about running shoes is simply based on my anecdotal, n=1 experience that has accumulated over 40 yrs and with over 72,000 miles of running shoe experience. If it appears that I favor a particular brand or model of running shoe, that would make sense. I have no hesitation when it comes to supporting a given shoe that that works well for me. Yes, n=1 but I would consider myself "normal" with "normal" running requirements. If a particular shoe works for me, there is a good chance it will work for other runners who don't have "special" requirements.

    I have been a heavy consumer of the running shoe industry's products since essentially the beginning of the of industry itself. I have a huge background of experience with the evolution of the product through it's entire life cycle. At this point in time, I currently see the beginnings of a significant change in shoe industry's thinking about shoe design. People can debate about it on this forum, but I don't think the shoe industry really cares what is said here.

    Kevin Kirby describes the shoe industry as a swinging pendulum. I disagree, I see it as evolving. Since the 1970's it has always offered a range of models from light and minimal to heavier and more substantial. Over time, new materials have been developed that allow shoe companies to design lighter, more durable shoes while still having a range of minimal to more substantial shoes with the weights of those shoes being proportional. What is happening now in the shoe industry is that it's designers are re-looking at the minimal section of their product line with the intent of broadening that section with more product offerings. Of course with the development and broadening of a product line, you better believe there is going to be a lot of marketing behind it to ensure those investment dollars are recovered.

    Dana, SNMP (Senior Non Medical Professional)
  13. Incorrect. I described running shoe design as being analogous to a swinging pendulum where, during the 1960's and 1970's, running shoe soles were more thin and less cushioned, and then swung until the latter part of the 2000's to being more cushioned and thicker soled. Now, I believe the pendulum in shoe design will swing back toward a thinner-lighter sole design for awhile over the next 5 years and will probably swing again back to thicker soled shoes once the consumer dictates that shoe sole design as being more desirable. I do believe that, during the course of these changes in shoe design trends, if the consumer is given more running shoe choices with more variety in shoe designs, then it will be a win-win for both the shoe companies and the running shoe consumer. However, it will also be more difficult for the sports podiatrist to try and understand which shoe designs are best for each runner. Hopefully, further scientific research evidence on this subject will help shed some more light onto a subject that can be extremely complicated, not only for the health professional, but even more so for the recreational runner.
  14. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Kevin, what you just explained is the pendulum swinging in one direction from soles being more thin in the 60's/70's to thicker, more cushioned at present. You "believe" the pendulum will swing back soon and then in 5 years it will "probably" swing back. Believe and probably are speculative terms.

    Lets look at some examples from the biggest shoe manufacturer, Nike over the time frame you described.

    My first example starts with the Nike Cortez introduced in 1972. It was Nike's FIRST ever shoe introduction!

    "In 1972, Nike’s guru, Bill Bowerman, knew that athletes needed a well-cushioned shoe that could take the punishment of 100 miles per week pounding the pavement. The first model was made with leather, but he figured out how to reduce the weight using upper of nylon – lightweight and quick drying – and suede, which holds the form of the toe without restricting the foot.

    The Cortez introduced the first full-length, dual-density foam mid-sole for comfort and shock absorption, the denser foam thoughtfully placed where the foot needed it the most. A Herringbone rubber outsole completed the revolution."

    These shoes actually had 3 layers of EVA in the heel tapering to 2 layers in the forefoot. They were as thick and as cushioned as any shoe today. The difference is that materials have evolved.

    In 1974, Nike followed the Cortez with the Waffle Trainer which actually had a slightly less thick sole with 2 layers of EVA in the heel, tapering to one in the forefoot. The Waffle Trainer was followed by the Waffle Racer in 1976 that actually had one layer of EVA that simply tapered from heel to toe.

    In 1985, Nike introduced the Sock Racer. It was a bright yellow, shoe with spandex uppers that had two black buckles. This was 25 yrs ago and I don't see it as conceptually different from the "barefoot" shoes of today. If they had toes, you might mistake them for Vibrams.

    Fast Forward to today, Nike has the Waffle racer VII, that weighs 6.4 OZ. The Waffle Racer, version 7 is the descendant of the Waffle Racer 1, introduced in 1976. Since 1976, Nike has had some version or equivalent of the waffle racer.

    In 1981, Nike introduced the Pegasus, 29 years later we are up to the Pegasus version 27. Same concept, different materials.

    I could go through the the history or the other shoe companies but we would see the same thing. They all had thick soled, cushioned shoes in the 70's and have maintained them up through the present. What has changed is the technology of the materials used. In the meantime, they also had thin soled, lighter shoes in the 70's which they also maintained up to the present. Again the only thing that has changed is the materials used.

    A "barefoot" shoe existed in 1985 which was closer to the beginning of the modern running shoe era than it is today.

    I fail to see how running shoe design can be described as a swinging pendulum. Running shoe design is simply evolving through the use of improved materials and with closer consideration to the concept of less may be better when it comes to running.

    Dana, SNMP
  15. Dana:

    You obviously have a right to have an opinion. The next time you are asked to lecture locally, nationally or internationally on running shoe design or running shoe biomechanics or running biomechanics, please let us all know.
  16. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Kevin, I have been on the forum long enough to know that your way of conceding when someone proves you wrong is to try to pull rank on them. You are not about to openly admit you have been corrected. This time is no different.

    We know you are a medical professional and I am a Senior Non Medical Professional. Being a medical professional might qualify you to speak about biomechanics, it obviously doesn't make you an authority on the history of the running shoe industry or trends running shoe design. For that matter, the more you try to use the industry or shoe design as part of your argument against the current running movements, the more you demonstrate how little you know about it. Stick to what you know, when you pretend to know something you don't, sooner or later a more knowledgeable person will call you out on it.

    Dana, SNMP
  17. Dana:

    I simply don't have the time or inclination to continue this debate with you. If you want to still consider you are the expert on shoes, and that helps your ego, then go ahead....you can consider yourself as being the winner of this discussion...if anyone really cares...other than yourself.
  18. Dana Roueche

    Dana Roueche Well-Known Member

    Correction, I never claimed to be an expert on shoes.

    Dana, SNMP
  19. Tkemp

    Tkemp Active Member

    Correction Dana, I believe you just did!

    and you cant accuse me of pulling rank as I am merely a Podiatrist not a Professor or Doctor or PhD...... or even a SNMP.
    However, I am capable of reading a thread and detecting when someone is on their high horse.

    We enjoy hearing the opinions of others and sharing information and research, but none of us - yourself included - enjoy being browbeaten.
    It may work in SNMP but not in an open professional forum.

    Thank you.
  20. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 22, 2016
  21. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Investigation into the kinetics and kinematics during running in the heelless shoe
    Jonathan Sinclair, Roozbeh Naemi, Nachiappan Chockalingam & Andrew Greenhalgh
    Footwear Sceince Published online: 03 Mar 2014
  22. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    The 'Healus' that started this thread never did make it to market,

    But this is just about to hit the market in Spain:

    Attached Files:

  23. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    another image:

    Attached Files:

  24. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Press Release:
    Spanish Start-Up Creates Heelless Running Shoe That Allegedly Prevents Injuries

    Athletic trainer Franc Beneyto came up with the idea for a heelless running shoe five years ago, after reading the book “Running with the Kenyans”, by Adharanand Finn, a journalist and amateur runner who lived for a few months in Kenya with athletes and coaches to investigate why they were able to run more, faster and get injured less frequently than others. In the book, Finn wrote that Kenyans had refined a natural running technique that didn’t require the support of the heel, but instead relied on the Achilles tendon, plantar arch, soleus and calf muscle. That got him thinking, and one day he just cut off the heel of a running shoe to see what running in it would feel like.

    Beneyto took a knife and cut off the heel cushioning of the running shoes “at an anatomically strategic point to allow good mobility in the ankle” and went out for a run. The trainer and project director at FBR describes the sensation of running without the support of the heel as ‘incredible’.

    “The feeling of power and freedom were incredible,” Beneyto told Spanish newspaper El Mundo. “The ankle acted like a spring that catapulted me forward with every step, so I just decided that I had to implement this concept as it was.”

    A few months later, Beneyto met Javier Gámez, a renowned doctor in biomechanics who recognized the potential of his heelless running shoe concept and proposed to have it analyzed at Sheffield Hallam University, in England, one of the best academic institutions in the world in sports engineering. The FBR shoe was compared to other conventional running shoes, and the results were so surprising that they were presented at various international Biomechanics and Podiatry congresses.

    The Faculty of Physiotherapy of Valencia began testing the FBR concept on injured athletes, and the results of their research were equally impressive.

    “Runners with various ailments returned to train normally after a progressive use of FBR prototypes thanks to the minimization of the impact of each footprint and a favorable change in their technique,” El Mundo reported.

    So what makes the FBR heelless shoe so special? Well, Beneyto says that it promotes a running technique supported by the metatarsal, which prevents joint injuries, whereas modern conventional running shoes incorporate more and more cushioning back, which modifies our natural way of running and makes injuries more frequent.

    “The cushioning does not eliminate the impact, it only decreases a bit and it continues to damage the joints,” Beneyto said.

    FBR(Faster & Better Runners) was founded by Franc Beneyto in collaboration with a team of researchers in biomechanics, designers, podiatrists, physiotherapists, lawyers, journalists and athletic trainers. Beneyto said that the decision to create their own company to produce the heelless running shoe was taken after numerous companies, both Spanish and foreign showed little interest in developing it.

    “We knocked on the doors of the main sports brands, both Spanish and foreign, to develop them, but many did not answer, so with great effort, we have managed to manufacture them in the Alicante area (Spain)” the entrepreneur said.

    A pair of FBR heelless running shoes costs 139 euros ($158) and can be purchased via the FBR website.

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