Whether you are a long distance runner or run once a month to feel healthy and fit, having a well designed running shoe can make or break your run and your body. To design an ergonomic running shoe, there are several parts of the shoe that must be considered.
Every stride a runner takes transfers about 2.5 times their body weight into the ground. As this force is applied to the ground, it is absorbed through the shoe so that it does not have as much of an impact on your legs, hips, shoulders and the rest of the body.
There are five main parts of the shoe that contribute to the ergonomic design. Starting from the toe, a more spacious toe box allows you to wear thicker socks or have more room to wiggle your toes. Having more room in the toe box, can negatively impact your ability to change directions or stop and start quickly.
The upper includes the tongue, laces, and the direct contact between the top of the foot and the shoe. A thicker upper gives you more padding but also makes the shoe heavier. Moving towards the heel of the shoe, the midsole plays the biggest role in the quality and support of the shoe. Everyone has their own preferences and necessities when it comes to arch support and how cushy they want their sole to be.
Moving to the heel, the heel is vital for support and stability while running. If there is not enough structure in the heel, you could be susceptible to injuries caused by over pro-nation.
Some examples of recent ergonomic developments in running shoes are barefoot running shoes and running shoes with spikes or more grip for running in the winter. There are many arguments out there about the health benefits of barefoot running, but by using ergonomic ideas, designers have created barefoot shoes which could be cover the best of both worlds.
Companies such as Vibram have made barefoot running shoes such as the ones above. These shoes protect the soles of your feel from sharp corners, glass, and nails but still allows you to run more naturally. Overall, whether you are choosing a good running shoe, barefoot shoe, or no shoe, there are ergonomic designs that make each part of a shoe personalize-able to each individual.
Anatomy of a running shoe | Choose the right shoe for you. (2016, March 05). Retrieved from http://healthandstyle.com/fitness/anatomy-running-shoe/
Chauhan, P. (2013, December 19). Ergonomic interventions in Running shoes. Retrieved from https://prezi.com/vfliwqf25vo1/ergonomic-interventions-in-running-shoes/
Ladurantaye, S. (n.d.). 15 Best Barefoot Running Shoes Reviewed & Rated in 2018. Retrieved from https://nicershoes.com/best-barefoot-running-shoes-reviewed/