The Science Behind Sports Shoes
There are so many things in our world today that make it evident that science and technology are working to increase our quality of life. However, few people understand the amount of science and technology that goes into creating athletic shoes. Not only are manufacturing companies hard at work designing athletic shoes based on styles and sizes; these companies must also create designs that work for the various types of sports activities that their customers plan to participate in such as football, baseball, aerobics, running, cross-training, basketball, and more.
For many decades it has been believed that more expensive brands of athletic shoes can protect people from experiencing serious injuries or irreversible damage to their feet. Unfortunately, modern day studies have proven that this is not always the case. Pricey athletic shoes tend to promote the comfort of their products based on the amount of cushioning that they incorporate into their shoe designs. Scientists have found that when you have substantial amounts of cushioning in your athletic shoes it is possible to come down too hard on concrete or other hard surfaces. While your feet may not feel the immediate harm that they are enduring because the signals which are sent to the brain do not recognize the force of impact, the bones, muscles, tendons, and other components of the feet still sustain the same amount of pressure from the impact. Without noticing the pain you are more likely to continue the activities that you are performing during your sporting activity for a longer duration of time.
Science and technology experts that team up with athletic shoe manufacturers are working to find a suitable amount of cushioning for the various types of shoes that are being distributed. They are constantly experimenting with different types of cushioning materials that can be used in the design of shoes that will not over cushion the impact an individual experiences when running, walking, jumping, or performing other sports related activities.
Cheaply constructed athletic shoes can be just as harmful for your feet and other parts of your body. These types of shoes tend to lack quality materials and often break down sooner causing the foot to lose its stability when performing activities such as running, jumping, walking, and more. Inexpensively made athletic shoes can often lead to problems encountered with your ankles, legs, knees, and back as well. The most dependable materials that you can trust to withstand the stresses of sports related activities includes a leather and canvas composite material, Kevlar, Thermoplastic Polyurethane, and Kangaroo leather.
Through thorough research scientists have found that there are three very different types of running styles that are seen in the different types of sporting activities including football, tennis, running, cross-training, baseball, basketball, and other types of athletic related events. They have labeled these different running styles as neutral, pronation, and supenation. Neutral is a running style in which the heel of the runner comes in contact with the ground and the foot continues to travel in a straight line as it is moved forward. Pronation is the running style in which the heel hits the ground and the foot continues to move to the side as it travels forward. The foot itself has an inward roll. Supenation is the running style in which the heel will hit the ground while the foot rolls outward. Understanding the specific running style that you have when performing your athletic activities will help you determine the type of athletic footwear that will provide the necessary results for experiencing a healthier sports activity while minimizing injuries or irreversible damage to your feet, ankles, legs, knees, and back.
Science and technology are especially important when it comes to designing the soles for athletic footwear. The soles of these shoes are required to provide the ideal level of support for various activities while conforming to the specific foot that will be wearing the shoe. With every foot being different this can be a challenging feat to overcome. Soles should be constructed with materials that will withstand the strenuous hours of activities that they rack up due to the specific sporting events they are used for. Most soles of athletic shoes will begin to show signs of wear after 3 months and can last for as long as 6 months if activities are not aggressively performed while wearing the shoe. It is ideal for athletic shoes to be replaced after they have sustained 300 to 500 hours of use as this is the length of time when normal soles of athletic shoes will begin to break down.
The same amount of consideration is placed on the arches of athletic shoes when they are being manufactured. However, with the arches of shoes they are required to provide support without causing damage. This can be determined by the actual individual foot that the shoe will be worn on. Arches of shoes will be found in either a stability design that supports normal arches, a cushioned arch to support high arches, or a motion control design to support athletes with a flatfoot. It is important for your foot health and overall well-being to understand how to properly fit the arch of the foot when purchasing new athletic shoes.