These days, there is so much technology available to aid people in their health and fitness efforts. When you go for a run, you can stream any music you can imagine through your phone, while tracking your calories and heart rate through your fitness tracker. It is easy to forget that at one time, a good pair of running shoes was all a person needed to embark on a world class cardio exercise regime. Indeed, what you wear on your feet continue to be among the most important tools available to those looking to excel in sports and fitness. So how is technology advancing in this area? The answer is, quite well actually. Brand leaders like Adidas and Nike continue to innovate and incorporate new and improved technology into their premium footwear, while up and coming players in the athletic footwear arena give the incumbents a reason to be on their toes.
In this post, we will profile the latest and greatest in athletic footwear technology and what it can do to step up your running game.
These shoes may look like something out of a science fiction film, but there is a reason for all the little tooth-like ‘blades’ supporting the sole. They are made from high-tech polymer and perform the function of absorbing impact when running, and rebounding to put an extra spring in your step. The idea being that you will get a little extra energy out of them as you run and the impact of the ground won’t be so hard on the joints. You may get a bit more bounce out of each stride with these, but don’t expect to be bouncing around like a cartoon character.
The key word with these shoes is stability. These shoes have been specially designed to provide support and stability in any position or situation. Altra prides itself on the flexibility of these shoes while still maintaining a good foundation and balance for the wearer. These shoes allow your feet to be comfortable and natural within the shoe without sacrificing stability. Next year, Altra is set to debut its Altra IQ shoe, which includes a series of sensors to be synced to a smartphone app, which can provide you with detailed information about pressure points and other data about how you walk and run. This is a testament to their brands personality of always trying to innovate and deliver the latest technology to their customers.
The soles of these shoes may look a touch too big, but wait until you are walking around in them to make a judgement. If you have ever had sore feet after a long bout of trail running, these shoes are the answer to your prayers. They were made for extended running sessions on trails with rocky or rough terrain and will treat your feet well as you traverse these areas. For their size, they are surprisingly light weight as well, which means your energy will go into running farther and faster, and not into lifting shoes off the ground.
Nike just released a new line of shoes this year under the name Lunartempo. Instead of making their soles with the standard EVA foam that most runners have in some form or another, the Nike Lunartempos use ‘Lunarlon’ foam which is stated to be softer, but also more responsive. Nike also touts Lunarlon as being lighter than other materials, which is always a plus for runners looking to push themselves.
These are the shoes the current fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, swears by. Like the Nike Lunarlons, Puma has decided to forgo EVA in favour of an alternate material. Ignites use Polyurethane foam which is meant to give superior cushioning and responsiveness, with added durability compared to other models.