Saturday, December 7, 2013
Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems have developed a specialized running shoe with sensors and microelectronics to help prevent future injuries. The electronics are integrated into the sole of the shoe to help measure the biomechanical data of the athlete and also evaluate the runner’s form in real-time. Pulse-rate watches and chest straps record only vital signs like breathing and heart rate. In contrast, the running shoe medically evaluates and monitors training while jogging. It informs the runner of incorrect foot position, asymmetric loading, or warns of exhaustion or overload. The measurement system can be installed and removed from the soles of the shoes fairly easily. The pair of shoes can also be charged by simply hooking them up to the charger. Using bluetooth technology to help transmit data like the runner’s speed and location. The new kicks also include technology like accelerometers and GPS sensors to help capture the biomechanical signals from the body. All of the data can be transmitted through Bluetooth to the runner’s smartphone through an app that evaluates the data in a split second with the help of special algorithms that give the athlete feedback on training performance. The application can also help give runners suggestions about their running form or their training routine to help prevent injury. The biomechanical data is also transferred during the run from the smartphone to a website for further processing, evaluation and display. Runners can set a customized training program based on this data with personalized performance goals that are constantly updated. The team said they are currently working on another version of the microelectronics and sensors in order to make the shoes waterproof, light and more durable. The team said the high-tech shoes will be available for sale by the beginning of 2015.
Friday, November 1, 2013
In many of the football codes it has become commonplace for players to have their ankles strapped. Called ‘Spatting’ players do it for additional support, to restrict motion in the ankle and prevent sprains. The availablilty of different coloured tapes has made ‘spatting’ popular as a fashion statement in American college football and it has become part the players’ image. The American game is heavily sponsored by shoe companies like Nike and adidas etc., and they are concerned their product logo is now being obscured by the fashionable tapping. Colleges receive millions in rights fees, compensation for coaches and administrators as well as apparel and equipment from the companies and in return the companies want their shoe logos on constant display. Some shoe contracts restrict the number of ankles that can be spatted without penalty, while others restrict which players can be spatted. Although many of the contracts prohibit it, a player with one injured ankle might get both spatted to prevent opposing teams from targeting the injured ankle. At least one company Under Armour have prompted the problem and put their company logo on the toe of the shoe and for them spatting is less of an issue.
Papers published in the "International Journal of Exercise Science" demonstrates differing opions when it comes to the effects of spatting. However the current dispute has created issues whereby many in the game now claim the inability to protect players because spatting interferes with advertising is a breach of health and safety and may unnecessarily increase risks to young players. While athletic trainers disagree on how much spatting is needed and its effectiveness, most say ankle taping or bracing can help prevent one of the most common injuries in the sport i.e. lateral ankle sprain.
Reuter G. D.; Dahl A. R.; and Senchina, D. S. (2011) "Ankle Spatting compared to Bracing or Taping during Maximal-Effort Sprint Drills," International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 4: Iss. 1, Article 7.
Udermann B. E.; Miller K. C.; Doberstein S. T.; Reineke D. M.; Murray S. R.; and Pettitt R W. (2009) "Spatting restricts ankle motion more effectively than taping during exercise," International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 2: Iss. 2, Article 1. Available at: http://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol2/iss2/1
Friday, October 25, 2013
Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto and adidas have created the Yohji Yamamoto adizero f50, a new limited edition soccer boot . The lightweight boot (165g) , has a lion’s face and was inspired by the spiritual lion-dog guards that defended the grounds of Japanese emperors. This weekend the boots will be worn by David Alaba (FC Bayern Munich and Austria )and Lucas Moura ( Paris Saint-Germain , Brazil). There are only 2,000 pairs of the Yohji Yamamoto adizero f50 boots available globally from Monday, October 28. and can be purchased in selected adidas retail outlets,
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
There is a popular belief moderate foot pronation i.e. the inward roll of the foot during the stance phase of gait can if left uncontrolled increase the risk of injury among novice runners. Hence much focus is placed on controlling middle range motion of the subtalar joint by restricting prontal plane eversion after heel strike with both shoes and shoe inserts. A new Danish study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has revealed after a one-year epidemiological observational prospective cohort study of 927 novice runners, pronation may not be the cause of patho mechanics. Participants had their “foot posture” i.e. the degree to which their foot pronates or supinates, measured and classified as “highly supinated” (n=53), “supinated” (n=369), “neutral” (n=1292), “pronated” (n=122) , or “highly pronated ” (n=18), with a foot posture index. The subjects were then asked to commence a running routine, using a “neutral” shoe and to use global positioning system watch to quantify the running distance in every training session. Runners were required to report on any injuries they experienced. For the purpose of the study an injury was defined as “any musculoskeletal complaint of the lower extremity or back caused by running, which restricted the amount of running for at least one week.” The 927 participants ran a total of 326,803 km over the course of the year. .A total of 252 participants sustained a running-related injury. Of these, 63 were bilateral injuries. Compared with a neutral foot posture, no significant body mass index-adjusted cumulative risk differences (RD) were found after 250 km of running for highly supinated feet (RD=11.0% (−10% to 32.1%), p=0.30), supinated feet (RD=−1.4% (−8.4% to 5.5%), p=0.69), pronated feet (RD=−8.1% (−17.6% to 1.3%), p=0.09) and highly pronated feet (RD=9.8% (−19.3% to 38.8%), p=0.51). In addition, the incidence-rate difference/1000 km of running, revealed that pronators had a significantly lower number of injuries/1000 km of running of −0.37 (−0.03 to −0.70), p=0.03 than neutrals. The results of the study show there were no significant injury-risk differences after 250 km of running between a “highly supinated” and a “neutral” foot and pronators had a much lower rate of injury per 1,000 km of running than those with neutral feet. Researchers are still left scratching their heads to know what this actually means but the results do indicate pronating feet in healthy subjects are not necessary a predictor of injury.
Nielsen R O, Buist I, Parner E T, Nohr E A, Sørensen H., Lind M, and Rasmussen S 2013 Foot pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners wearing a neutral shoe: a 1-year prospective cohort study Br J Sports Med bjsports-2013-092202Published Online First: 13 June 2013 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2013-092202.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
New research from University of Brighton suggests the kind of shoe sportsmen choose to wear has more to do with their personality then by serendipidy. Dr Christopher Morriss-Roberts, senior lecturer in the School of Health Professions, interviewed a group of sportsmen from different disciplines and sexualities. The group included professional and semi-professional, from rugby, tennis, body building, football, squash and gymnastics. The focus group discussed their sporting lives, bodies, why they wore the sports shoes they did, and how they read messages into the shoes that other men wore. Transpired shoes chosen by the athletes had specific meaning to them and collectively sent clear message to others. Highly coloured (bright colourways) footwear for example was generally regarded as signalling the wearer was masculine, cocky and highly skilled. More modest sportsmen wore black or neutral coloured sporting footwear in order not to attract unwanted attention from aggressors. In contrast all-white sport shoes were considered ultra macho and worn by direct and aggressive types. Morriss-Roberts believes shoes communicate much about our personality and has called this podo-linguistics. Although only a small study has been published in Podiatry Now, the author intends to develop the concept with further research.
It is well documented shoes play a major role in youth/gang cultures. To the educated eye these depict rank and status within the group. In football, Sir Alec Ferguson often critised the choice of his and other players footwear reminding younger players that bright colourways attract unwanted attention from opponents. Players who dared to wear the ligher coloured boots when they were first introduced faced open and loud derision from opposing supporters with derogatory remarks on their skill and sexuality .
Have a swizz
Shoes 'r' Us
Sunday, October 20, 2013
German company, Moticon, is developing the world’s first fully integrated and wireless sensor insole called OpenGo. The OpenGo insole can be used in any shoe to measure the distribution and motion parameters for patients and athletes. The insole can also measure the approximate temperature of the foot. One of the main advantages of this sensor insole is that it is completely wireless and can be used with other devices to create new capabilities such as getting instant audio feedback in a Bluetooth headset about your balance during a golf swing. An embedded storage unit within the insole constantly records the measured data and this data can be transmitted to a computer through an ANT+ enabled flash drive.
Current foot care relies on measuring the patient’s applied pressure, and these measurements play a crucial role during patient rehabilitation as well. Inappropriate plantar stress after injuries or orthopedic surgery can be recorded with the OpenGo sensor insole and the entire recovery process can be significantly improved. The OpenGo insole is currently used for everyday patient monitoring, rehabilitation measures, and for training analysis in sports. According to the company website, the OpenGo sensor insole can be used as a personal trainer in all kinds of sports where technique and performance are significantly based on the correct distribution of pressure and load. It is easy to use and gives feedback immediately facilitating athletes to optimize their technique.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Sneaker culture was introduced through hip-hop music in the 1980s then popularized by Michael Jordan, in the 1990s. A "sneakerhead" is a shoe enthusiast that not only collects shoes, but is very knowledgeable about the history of the sneaker and its meaning. A “hypebeast” refers to a person who only buys shoes that are popular and cool. Recently shoe enthusiasts of all demoninations gathered at the Bank United Center on the campus of the University of Miami for SneakerCon. The event allows vendors and guests to buy, sell and trade their “kicks.”
SneakerCon is the premier traveling event for sneaker connoisseurs to buy, sell and trade some of the most sought after footwear on the market.
The next SneakerCon event is in Chicago, IL on Oct 19th, 2013 with New York City (Nov 23rd, 2013) and New Orleans (NBA All Star Weekend) to follow.