Innovations

Smart shoes the future of sports

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Smart shoes the future of sports

How to effectively increase the efficiency of athletes and contribute to the improvement of their performance? With help come modern solutions in the form of intelligent shoes. Here is a review of the most interesting solutions of the last few years.

Innovative solution by Adidas

In 2013, shoes by Adidas equipped with BOOST soles and then with their upgraded version UltraBOOST debuted on the market. As their manufacturers emphasized, they were designed to give the runner an excellent energy return. The aforementioned BOOST is a material created in conjunction with BASF. It is a patented thermoplastic urethane in granular form that is extruded and then molded into the appropriate shapes. It was a highly innovative solution at the time.

In 2015, an improved version of BOOST was released, the UltraBOOST material. It was a combination of a cushioned midsole and an upper material called Primeknit, which was the German answer to Nike’s 3D Flywire yarn technique. What set it apart was its perfect sock-like fit to the shape of the foot. Also noteworthy here is another, slightly thicker material used by Nike. We are talking about Techfit, whose characteristic feature is the prints covering it. It is also impossible not to mention the “Stretchweb” outsole, which helps your feet hit the ground in a natural way. Additionally, it adapts to both dry and wet surfaces. This solution guarantees much better traction than traditional soles.

Nike Solutions for Eliud Kipchoge

Another notable solution is the Nike brand model called Pegasus Turbo. What makes it stand out is that it has the same foam midsole as the Vaporfly Elite performance shoe created specifically for Kenyan athlete Eliud Kipchoge to be able to run a marathon in under 2 hours. What are the features of these shoes? They have an innovative ZoomX midsole with a curved insole made of the highest quality carbon fiber. Both the foam and the insole are designed to have a springing effect and energy recovery, thus giving extra propulsion to the runner.

On store shelves, you can meet with slightly cheaper shoes with a similar design. We are talking about the Zoom Vaporfly 4% and Zoom Fly. Nike models arouse considerable controversy among people representing professional sports. Among other things, the resilient carbon fiber insole, which is embedded in the sole made of foam, raises a lot of doubts. As critics claim, it can act as a mechanical doping. It is worth mentioning here that the Vaporfly Elite model is not available in regular sales. It appears in stores in limited series.

Energetic shoes from Brooks Running

Another leading brand that specializes in making smart shoes is Brooks Running. Its range includes the Levitate model with DNA AMP foam in the midsole, which guarantees up to 70% energy return. In the case of classic EVA foams it is only 50-60%.

What exactly is the energy return mentioned above? With the impact of the foot on the ground, the runner’s energy is transferred to the shoe, and then absorbed by the cushioning system inside. As the runner lifts the foot up, the cushion expands, giving back some of the absorbed energy. The more energy returned to the foot, the more efficient and resilient the shoe will be. Every single percentage point of 1-2% is extremely important here.

Featured Image: Freepik

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