Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Howlin' Wolf - Meet Me In The Bottom

(Video Courtesy:LosGrollos by Youtube Channel)

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Save your stained and damaged trainers from the bin

A man in Manchester has made it his mission to save your stained and damaged trainers from the bin.

Sneakers pimped in Manchester to help reduce waste BBC

Friday, July 26, 2019

The rise and rise of Athletic Sandals

The athletic sandal made several fashion crossovers and in different guises. The exercise sandal was very popular during the nineteen sixties and early 70s. It was never very clear weather the shoe 'exercised' the foot by its intrinsic shape, or was the ideal footgear, to take exercise in. Shaped like the sole of the foot the shoe combined the properties of a simple sandal with a clog. These remain popular to the present day.

The popularity of extreme sports such as water rafting, gave opportunity to develop the athletic sandal. The trend started by Mark Thatcher , not the male offspring of the late Baroness Thatcher, but an entrepreneur she might be proud of. After Thatcher lost his job as a geophysicist, he dedicated himself to his hobby of white-water rafting. A source of continual annoyance to participants was the flip flops they wore, constantly washed away. He designed a prototype sandal with a heel strap to prevent shoe and foot separating and called them Teva Hebrew for "nature") in 1982. The new support sandal held fast even in the most trying of circumstance and although, pricey, they sold well among the extreme sport community. At first there was little fashion interest until 1984 when it became vogue to wear Teva sandals. Mark Thatcher set up an exclusive licensing agreement with Deckers Corporation to manufacture and distribute Teva sandals in 1985, before Deckers eventually obtained exclusive rights to Teva in 2002. Mark sold Teva to Deckers Outdoor Corporation for a substantial sum.

In 2012, Thatcher decided to launch a new sport sandal company, called Sazzi Footwear ‘Sazzi’ sandals were based upon sandals worn by ancient Native Americans, of the Anasazi civilization . The sandals are retained to the foot by individual toe thongs combined with robust soling.

(Video Courtesy: Park City Television by Youtube Channel)

In 2009, Hoka One One was established in Annecy, France and manufactured "maximalist" with extra cushion for runners. The company was founded by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, and they designed a shoe to accommodate down-hill running for ultra-marathon runners, which quickly became popular with others.

(Video Courtesy: HOKA ONE ONE Australia by Youtube Channel)

The company started to produce a popular range of lighter-weight shoes including hill walking sandals and recovery slides, and in 2013, Decker Brands purchased Hoka .

(Video Courtesy: Shop Zappos by Youtube Channel)

This year (2019), Deckers Brands reported better-than-expected first-quarter results due in part, to significant increased sales of the Hoka One One. At the same time Sanuk and Teva sales continued to trend downward.

More Information
Greathouse J (2019) Mark Thatcher, Father Of The TEVA Sport Sandal, To Launch The Last Footwear Revolution Forbes

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Sneaker Auction on line : The world's rarest sneakers

In conjunction with sneaker marketplace Stadium Goods , Sotheby’s (BID) auction house held a first-of-its-kind online-only sneaker auction. Sneaker fans were asked to bid on kicks in the Stadium Goods Ultimate Sneaker Collection . Up for offer were one hundred (100) of the rarest sneakers in history .

The shoes featured in the auction were described as a sneakerhead’s dream. Coveted models included the 2011 and 2016 versions of the Nike (NKE) Air Mags, which featured in "Back to the Future Part II;" the ultra-rare Chanel x Pharrell x Adidas NMD Hu TR - 1-of-1 for Karl Lagerfeld; and four versions of the Travis Scott Air Jordan 4 “Friends & Family” collection (one of which was seen worn by influencer Kylie Jenner), just to name a few.

Considered the most exclusive shoe in the collection (size 12.5) is the never before worn, handmade waffle soled “Nike Moon Shoe,” created by Nike co-founder, famed Olympic team and University of Oregon running coach Bill Bowerman. He created just 12 pairs of the shoes for U.S. runners at the 1972 Olympic trials. Using a domestic iron, Bowerman created a waffle style sole to lessen the weight of the shoe without reducing traction. Whilst the athletes were non plussed the iconic waffle pattern imprint caught the public’s imagination because it resembled the footprints left by astronauts on the moon. These shoes were known as the Moon Shoes. The starting bid is $80,000. The auction runs online until July 23, 2019. For more information see Sotheby’s New York gallery

(Video Courtesy:Sneaker News by Youtube Channel)

Prior to the auction, the shoes were expected to sell for up to $160,000. According to Sotheby's, Nike's Waffle Racing "Moon Shoe" sold for $437,500 at the auction. .

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Laundry bag for trainers

A laundry bag that allows you to wash and dry your shoes without having them slam around in the machine

Friday, July 12, 2019

Grass tennis: Careful to wear your treads

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) are the regulatory body responsible for the overseeing the sport and currently recognize more than 160 different kinds of tennis courts, including surfaces made of carpet, clay, gravel, concrete, wood, asphalt, and fake grass. Wimbledon remains the only Grand Slam event played on grass courts all others are clay and of a wide variety. According to the green keepers at the London courts the same expert care yet in recent years there was a significant number of falls in the earlier stages of the competition. No one is quite sure why this occurred but many theories were proffered. One contributory factor was thought to be the player’s choice of footwear, as determined by their sponsor, was more appropriate for clay courts. In more recent tournaments the number of injuries seen during competition on grass has significantly reduced.

(Video Courtesy:Tennis TVby Youtube Channel)

The treads on modern tennis shoes originated in 1939 when Dunlop Volley introduced herringbone soles. Australian doubles tennis champion, Adrian Quist noticed when visiting America boating shoes had unusual sole patterns to prevent slippage on wet surfaces.

He recognised using similar tread patterns on tennis shoes for grass courts would be an advantage. Eventually on return to Australia he convinced Dunlop to put a herring bone tread sole onto a canvas tennis shoes. Herribone treads allow for optimal lateral movements, ensuring the user does not slip when making quick side-to-side movements.

The function of ridged patterns on the sole of shoes is to increase traction which helps weightbearing stability. This is critical on soft and wet surfaces when a tennis player is weightbearing on one foot while turn their body. In a time before synthetic polymers, ridged patterns made of rubber would be the only means of performance enhancement. The Dunlop Volley was introduced in 1939 and sold more than 24-million pairs as the evergreen of tennis shoes. By the eighties the popular Dunlop Volley tennis shoes were replaced by footwear from the emerging sports companies like Nike and adidas.

Outsole designs began to incorporate manufactures logos and or fashion dashes distinctive to the makers. As clay replaced grass manufacturers emphasised durability with tennis shoes more able to endure the rigors of quick stops and starts, short sprints, and frequent lateral movements on hard courts. The vast majority of social tennis is played on hard courts (concrete) where treads are still important but less critical than might be on lush grass surfaces. Modern tennis shoes for soft courts (clay and grass) are primarily designed with non-damaging traction in mind.

Clay court shoes still have herringbone style but the ridges sit closer to prevent damaging the court and stop clay clogging them up. Playing on a lush grass surface with small ridges would increase the risk of slippage. Professional soccer players experience similar lack of control due to inappropriate boots for conditions. Many attribute this to the increase of signature boots and sponsored boot contracts which place greater commercial emphasis on being seen in the shoes as opposed to fit for purpose. Foot for thought.

Reviewed 13/07/2019

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What to look for when buying soccer boots for women

An estimated 75% of women playing soccer at grassroots level are thought to be wearing either men’s down sized boots or children’s boots. Most main manufacturers continue to ignore calls for specific soccer boots for female players and expert opinion is divided as to whether gender centred niche boots are necessary. Many manufacturers maintain there is no consumer demand for gender specific boots and make no secret their marketing focus is on visuals and cosmetic design only.

The upper materials on soccer boots are mostly made from synthetic leathers, traditionally superior kangaroo skin was used and although these are still available, the range is more costly than the more common synthetic leathers. Specially treated uppers are more waterproof although they may also prevent evaporation of sweat. Cotton socks help wick foot perspiration and many players wear two socks, a thin cotton over-sock as well as a football sock. Some models of boot include small airholes to allow air convection (i.e. warm air out replaced by cold air drawn in). However, this also causes the foot to become wet in rainy conditions.

It is important when buying soccer boots to match the style of boots and cleat (studs) configuration with what position you play on the field as well as the conditions of play. Ground condition are usually referred to as firm ground (FG) means firm natural surfaces, such as dry grass. Soft Ground (SG) refers to muddy pitches. Hard ground (HG) means indoor surfaces. The length of grass and the weather are another two important aspects to consider as well as the surfaces which may be artificial or natural.

Boots usually have a 10 studs (cleats) configuration spread uniformly across the sole of the boot. Some cleats feature removable studs, so that you can fit your own stud configuration on them. Many moulded cleats are perfect for long grass but not especially good for short or wet conditions. The modern trend of moulded soles means you may need to have two pairs ready and change them to suit the conditions. Boots with screw in studs will allow you to overcome this but these are less popular with modern players. The most popular boots have cleats with rubber spikes which are considered appropriate for firm-ground and short-grass fields. For regular soccer fields, it is recommended to go for models that have a metal insert.

By far the most common problem reported by consumers buying soccer boots for females is sizing. Some companies will have their own sizing system which does not comply with regular footwear sizing. Another frustration is sometimes the sizes marked on the boxes do not correspond to the boots they contain. Its s important to have new boots fitted but as most are bought over the net the added frustration is having to return them. In practice many people buy one size larger is the only way to avoid having to return them. You can always wear two socks to fill the boot, use soft inlays lacing the boots tightly to prevent unnecessary slippage. However, wearing boots too big or small can create a biomechanical mismatch which negates the function of the cleats (studs) beneath.

It is well to remember no boot ever has won the World Cup (female or male), and it is the skill of the player who dazzles and scores or saves the penalty. Comfortable boots may contribute but they do not act as performance enhancers no matter what level of play. Elite players will have their boots costumed to their feet by manufacturers but these are not the same products you can buy on the net or over the counter. Most serious players are brand loyal and rarely switch their choice of boot. New models have a very short shelf life and fashion dashes and new colourways aside, most new models are 'pimped up,' versions from a previous range. As to the future, Computer Assisted Design (CAD) may help custom soccer boots to particular anatomical requirements which would certainly provide the potential for improved fitting and sizing.

Dingle S 2019 Why are there no football boots designed specifically for women? Sarah Dingle on PM ABC
Kessel A 2019 Women's football: If the boot doesn’t fit then female footballers should have an alternative The Guardian