It is true that reactivity and elasticity of the foot on the ground is important for the athlete. The foot is the only point of contact with the ground and plays a key role in the mechanics of racing, in the pursuit of performance.
This is why athletics coaches, especially those who train athletes for track races, focus on posture, stretching, proprioceptive exercises, running on grass or sand, and changes of terrain for different training sessions. These tools (and there are others) stimulate a variety of proprioceptive sensations for the feet, with the consequences stated above.
There is now also very real and constant technological research and innovation. The athlete should see training not only as a search for performance, but also as the combination of the usual methods of training with makes of shoe that represent the top of the range and are based on research with an eye for the future.
Worth a mention are the shoes launched by Nike on the occasion of the famous event Breaking2, for running the Marathon under 2 hours: the Zoom Vaporfly Elite.
The Zoom Vaporfly Elite are shoes of incredible reactivity and elasticity, the two properties for the feet that we mentioned previously, and which do not however renounce the lightness required of performance footwear.
The properties are attributable to a new super-light foam (ZoomX). The Zoom Vaporfly Elite have a fairly thick midsole that cushions but also offers elasticity. There is also a one-centimetre difference between the forefoot and the heel that makes this shoe quite unique.
And that’s not all. Between two layers of ZoomX is a carbon fibre structure, which tends to concentrate the force on the forefoot, when pushing off, to make the foot more reactive. The upper is comfortable and well-fitting, and the shoe looks like the work of an expert craftsman.
This incredible footwear was not originally for sale, and then was apparently available in small runs (100 pairs throughout Europe); however, Nike has footwear on the market like the Zoom Vaporfly 4% and the Zoomfly that are based on the same ideas as the Elite and truly are super valid.
(by Lorenzo Andreini)