Just like at SPORT LAB we carry out biomechanical and physiological studies aimed to improve cyclist´s performance and health, runners have also their total weight.
If in the bicycle case we analyze the material and reach the conclusion of who are our providers with no compromise, we act in the same way with athlete´s footwear. No concessions. Our daily work authorizes us to define our provider´s line, fruit of our investigation with performance and quality as imperturbable criteria.
Your body is wise and is provided with all the intervening mechanisms for any situation. External help is recommendable in the case that a situation is not solvable optimizing your body and basic material.
A certain analysis allows you to determine the pathologies that affect the athlete. Given that you know the problem, you can choose two ways to eradicate or, at least, minimize it: motor reeducation or external accessorizing such as custom insoles, correcting insoles, etc. In the first case, habits change, learning and selective boosting can reeducate your body to palliate the problem. In the second one, potentially inadequate orthopedic material seems to have solved everything quickly.
Nevertheless, we must consider, not only the short term, but also the mid and long terms. If outer help seems to have eliminated the negative situation, your body won´t have neither the necessity nor possibility of minimizing the problem by itself because the shoe or the insoles apparently have done it instead. There is nothing further from reality. This approach, in many occasions, inhibits your body necessity of highlighting its habituation and correction capabilities that nature provided it with. Intervening systems in this pathology have no occasion to act and, as a consequence, it will diminish its recovery capability.
Let us think now in the same ailment, malformation, injury, etc. We can boost muscular groups in the proper way, we optimize our motor patron, favor our muscular-skeletal system consolidation, and reinforce our organism´s proprioceptive mechanisms. In a medium term, your body will have actively collaborated to eliminate the problem and, in addition, to avoid its degeneration by improving its efficiency.
The fact of being able to count in our days on advanced analysis and measurement systems allows us to know what works and what does not work. You only compulsorily need having these means under your reach and the capability of understanding the provided results.
For the last ten years SPORT LAB has researched into this field and has warned that overprotecting footwear, along with the unjustified use of customized insoles generates a sort of pathologies due to its excessive intervention in the motor action. The oversized shoe inhibits the self-protective systems of the organism and, consequently, those are atrophied entering in a vicious circle in which your body needs more and more external support. This support prevents your body from carrying out the function with naturalness. Furthermore, insoles meant in many occasions a fake substitute of our muscular-skeletal structure intrinsic properties and capabilities.
Nevertheless, still in our days you can find professionals who try to favor the use of the incorrect footwear that prevents your foot from the function that evolution provided it with. In other words, if, per example, you step badly, you can train selectively to reeducate your motor system and eradicate your bad habit or you can wear a shoe that supposedly helps you to correct it by its intrusion in your motor functions.
Air cushion stuffed, absorbing, for pronator and for supinator shoes, high elastic modulus soles, step stabilizers and so on are perfect arguments for the market, but a weak favor for our health. This trend is being inverted and there are already voices that get together and corroborate what we have been defending for years and that is not but the use of rational sport material that helps without being intrusive.
It is not a based on personal beliefs or on thirds´ theories opinion. It is only about data coming from non-contaminated analysis and that are not but scientifically verified data.
It is easily demonstrable and ever easier to understand:
1.- What happens when we run using conventional training footwear? Given that the body feels that is being “protected” by the shoe´s padding, air cushioning or similar, the foot hits the paving with the reduced hindfoot´s surface, that is, your heel. The impact is received far from your hip and with your leg almost fully extended, leaving all the initial absorption work to your shoe. The fact of having extended your leg makes, in addition, that the impact is generated way ahead your hip and, in this case, an abrupt energy transmission through the ankle, knee and hip joints happens. This effect can be observed in the sagittal view of figure 1 in which the athlete is running at 8.18 miles an hour in front of the camera. Other way to feel directly the detailed effect? Take off your shoes, jump (softly) and land on your heels. The impact is clear and brutally perceived.
2.- What happens when we run barefoot? Instinctively your body makes your feet to contact the paving with the whole surface of its area, that is, your feet sole. The impact is received in a bigger surface, right below your hip and with a bigger knee flexion. This brings about an optimal initial impact absorption through your ankle-knee-hip articular system. There is no a more efficient shock absorbing system that the naturally by our muscular-skeletal adopted. In the same way, all of this can be observed in the sagittal vision of figure 2 in which the athlete is running at 8.18 miles an hour in front of the camera. As always, the empirical verification lies in jumping softly and falling on the front two thirds of your feet, avoiding heels to touch the floor. An all of the intervening articular groups´ instinctive flexion takes place and a clear and beneficial absorption is perceived.
With the premise of the natural run as the healthiest, is our mission putting under your reach the most advanced analysis technological means for running technic and motor reeducation.
Some of you will have thought: how am I to run barefoot no matter how good it is? A proper footwear that provides a horizontal leveling all along its sole, with no added elements and with a reduced weight will be the most similar to running barefoot without hassles like injuries, pain, inadequate surface, etc.
Let us go for the A+. When you watch a long distance run, you can check in its early stages how runners deliberately use almost the whole of their foot sole while running. As the race goes ahead, physic and psychic tiredness appear. To the osseous and/or muscular pain you are to add that our mind tries to keep itself to its minimum and prefers to moan, think of beds, food, water and about the recurring “What am I doing here?” before than keep on controlling the stride quality. This situation degenerates into a stride that lands on your heel. That is why so important physic strength that will try to delay the tiredness appearance. But we cannot forget our psychic solidness that will help your head to keep on monitoring all of these processes in order our technique to be an ally that makes easier the feared to appear as late as possible. But this is an interesting history to talk about maybe some other time.
Practicing what we preach, this has been reflected in a collaboration with one of the best and few footwear specialists that matches our criteria concerning performance and design. zapatillas-minimalistas.com and SPORT LAB have reached an agreement by which we can count on their support, experience and gear to ensure the optimal convenience of our recommendations with regards to footwear for athletes.