Independent Footwear Lab

edited November 2012 in Running Form
Hi Runners,

We've just opened our newest independent (read: not owned by a shoe company or academic institution) footwear testing and design lab. I've read a lot of posts here about "what shoe is right for me" and "what type of run stride do I have". These are great questions, and we can add some clarity here. Here's what we've learned about the run stride:
1--the foot is on the ground for less than 1/4 second during a run stride. Unless you're filming with high speed video (>60 frames/sec) it is VERY difficult to really see what is going on. Your iPhone/iPad won't give high enough quality.
2--how you run on the treadmill is not how you are going to run outside (lots of research on this).
3--How you run up or downhill will dramatically change your run stride (see our youtube video on this research:
4--firmer forefoot foam typically increases force to the ground at push off (pete mentions this phenomenon often on run blogger) but only if the forefoot has great flexibility.
5--amount of drop in a shoe is interesting. We are researching this right now and find that the drop measured in a shoe when it is on a shelf is very different than when it is on your foot, and even more different when you're running. We're working to learn what the most optimal 'dynamic drop' is.

We're working hard to take the subjective nature of footwear recommendations and change it to something objective and fact driven. Let me know if you have questions!


  • Good to hear there are others who think it's important to get people filmed with high speed video in their "natural" running environment! I do filming with a local therapist and we have been meeting patients at the track instead of using a treadmill.
  • Curious, how many were fully barefoot, and what were the foot strike percentages for them?
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