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Help me classify running shoes

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Craig Payne, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator


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    I working on a running shoe prescribing project and need to come up with an initial list that running shoe design features that they could be scored or classified on.

    This initial list is:
    Cushioning/Shock absorption
    Straight or Curved Last
    Saggital plane flex
    Frontal plane flex

    Can you think of any others?
  2. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    Staight or curved last should be taken out Craig.. not relevant.. replace with base net, which is the width of the forefoot platform.
    Historically (and you know my views on this "classification" just to clarify), some of the following features were also (and still may be) considered important to classify 'motion control" shoes:
    midsole heel flare
    Dual or triple density midsole
    heel counter
    midfoot torsion systems
    integrated upper logo.. for example the adidas tri stripe or ASICS tiger stripes have claimed upper stability powers
    lacing systems
    vamp length
    topline profile
    outsole design
    just to name a few. Do any of these design strategies "contol" motion.. well that is now your enviable task Craig..
    Good luck
  3. retropod

    retropod Member

    Aesthetics (e.g colour)
    Why? I can here you screaming...
    Much running happens above the shoulders...so superstition and mind set are issues
  4. PodAus

    PodAus Active Member

    Rockersole... position of / angle of / density of
  5. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Thanks Simon - I building a list.

    Here is how the project is stacking up:
    eg Drop is going to be something easy to get for all running shoes; say on a 0 to 14mm scale

    So its then becomes a matter of working out the evidence; the coherent theory; and the sound rationale on how to place a runner on the 0-->14mm drop scale.

    So far I can find no "the evidence; the coherent theory; and the sound rationale" on the drop issue! I think we could possibly make a case of "the evidence; the coherent theory; and the sound rationale" for those with a medial STJ and high supination resistance to be in the 10-14mm drop category.

    I can not find any "the evidence; the coherent theory; and the sound rationale" for a 0/zero drop! I can find a lot of nonsensical propaganda and rhetoric with the wishful thinking and appeal to nature fallacies thrown in for the zero drop - but nothing that stacks up to scrutiny after stripped of the logical fallacies used to argue for it. ... so still a have a lot of work to do just on the drop classification.

    Then work through all the different design features on continuum's like this one ... big job.
  6. jon iriberri

    jon iriberri Welcome New Poster

    The not named by you -but usefull for me- parameters:

    Metatarsal line flexion orientation
    Varus/Neutral/Valgus support
    Front perimeter: egypcian / greek feet.
    rear calcanean protection: rigid/flexible & straight/spuur profiled
  7. Stiffness both of outer sole and torsion
  8. Craig:

    People have been trying to classify running shoes for the past four decades with Peter Cavanagh doing actual shoe testing in the late 1970s for Runner's World. Unless you can do some actual shoe testing to obtain objective mechanical parameters of the current running shoe models, then the project will probably be fruitless since no new data is being generated. None of the previous shoe classifications systems were flawless. The key is to make a classification system that can be communicated easily from researcher, to shoe designer, to shoe salesman and customer.

    I personally think that midsole design and construction is one of the most importatnt factors in running shoe design. I still use the terms "motion control", "stability" and "neutral" since those are terms my patients understand and the running shoe stores I work with understand as they emphasize the durometer, thickness and design of midsole elements. I know that many people aren't happy with these terms, but I defy them to come up with a better classification for running shoes that isn't equally problematic. Unless more and better shoe mechanical testing is also being accomplished to come up with new data, I doubt that any change in shoe classification will be particularly helpful.
  9. efuller

    efuller MVP

    I agree with the addition of the Dual density midsole. Where the different densities are matters. There is the classic Nigg paper that showed a slowed velocity of pronation with a firmer density medially and a softer density laterally under the heel. Although I think it should be expanded to a shoe designed to shift the center of pressure more medially. I don't know if Nike still makes the foot bridge. That was another method to shift the center of pressure more medially under the heel. To me, it makes sense to put these under the motion control category. The terminology is a bit off as the motion may be the same, but the moment about the STJ axis has changed.

    What exactly is a stability shoe. Does it have a wide flare so that shoe is less likely to roll one way or the other. What makes a shoe stable? When you answer that question you may be able to pick your definition of stable because I'm not aware of any definition.

  10. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    1st suggestion , drop the term "Drop" and use the correct term "Heel Pitch" or even "Pitch"

    2nd, "Throat length" as this is relevant to access, a client with fused or restricted STJ, vamp does not.

    3rd Add "Shank length"

    4th "Fulcrum" Maybe dont use the term rocker, as rocker may get associated with the "toning" shoes of the past.

    5th"Depth" l would add as some are very shallow whilst others are very deep.

    6th "Orthotic accommodating" l would also add the suitability of the footwear to take an orthosis,

    7th "Modifiable" Who knows you may even want to add suitability to be modified, biggest question for a lot of my clients.
  11. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Good point, but the problemo is that "drop" is the term that is used by runners and most manufacturers now list the 'drop' in their product specifications.
  12. Boots n all

    Boots n all Well-Known Member

    Hmm, l hear what your saying, but its still not right.

    A "drop" would suggest a vertical fall, not a sloping down.

    This is an issue when none shoe makers start making shoes!

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