A shoe has so much more to offer than just to walk. – Christian Louboutin.
It is true that when a consumer decides to buy a brand new pair of sports shoes, a very long and detailed thought process might be going on in his or hers head regarding whether the shoe would go with the other clothes in the wardrobe or whether it will be its price or whether the brand offers a set of demands etc. It is safe to say that buying a new pair of shoe is no more perceived in the same way as how it was earlier done.
Sports shoe technology has been a game changer in the market. Every brand is trying to stand out amongst each other as well as competing for a consumer’s attention with the latest that they are being ready to offer. Below we look at how the running or jogging shoes have been improved with technology by leading sports brands.
Adidas – Ultra Boost Technology
- Adidas always ups the ante when it comes to their sports gear. They never fail to deliver and this time they have come up with the new Ultra Boost Technology shoes.
- The core of the Adidas Ultra Boost is in its sole. This is made up of thousands of “energy capsules” which are effectively a springy material that’s able to flex under the weight of the runner before pushing that energy back. Most trainer soles on the market today are made from an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) plastic foam. The Ultra Boost uses a special thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) to create the individual pods that make up the sole. These not only offer better energy return but also stay in the same state despite temperature changes. This means you still get the boost and flexibility in the cold and they don’t go soft in the heat, unlike EVA.
- Yohan Blake, the world’s second fastest man, is a big fan of the shoes. It will be surprising if Adidas outdo themselves after coming up with the best running shoes favoured by leading fitness magazines.
Reebok Z Pump Fusion
- Reebok has revolutionized its iconic innovation – The Pump technology – to create ZPump Fusion which boasts a new and proprietary air-filled cage that surrounds and molds to any foot providing a locked-in custom fit.
- Many running shoes are developed around a rigid, factory-developed last shape that can never be a true representation of your unique foot. ZPump Fusion is completely structure-less when not inflated and then molds to the individual shape of one’s foot once they put it on and inflate it.
- It conforms to the shape of your foot to give you a locked-in custom fit when you run. It is fully customizable for each person. There are 3 parts to how this mechanism works. The Pump technology, The Fusion Sleeve and The ZRATED outsole all have unique functions but provide the best result when they work together.
- UFC athletes Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo and SI Swimsuit cover model Hannah Davis all have endorsed the ZPump Fusion.
Nike – Flyknit Technology
- With Adidas, Reebok, Puma etc. all making names with their new technology in the shoe market, Nike joined the party by introducing Flyknit to the market.
- According to the company press release, Nike programmers, engineers, and designers embarked on a four-year mission of micro-engineering static properties into pliable materials to develop the technology. They worked alongside marathoners in order to fulfill the specific needs of long-distance runners, and ultimately produced the first two Flyknit silhouettes: the Racer and the Trainer. The single-piece constructions meant that Nike had to distill all its running tech into one-time creations. It was an engineering marvel.
- Flyknit had the endorsement by Nike, but it couldn’t compete in the market when it was first introduced in 2012 citing the reason that it wasn’t worth its price. The engineers got back to their drawing board and designed a shoe that was perfect in combining both, a gym wear as well as a stylish day to day type of shoe. The Nike Flyknit breakthrough grew out of similar innovative thinking that led Nike’s team of computer programmers, engineers and designers to take a knitting machine for socks and sweaters and re-engineer it to produce the upper part of a sneaker. The result was an upper that felt like a sock but had the strength and support of the best running footwear. The shoe excelled in terms of both performance and sustainable design.
- When Michael Phelps won his 22nd medal to become the most successful Olympian in history, he laced up Flyknits to stand on that podium. It couldn’t have been an anymore perfect for Nike to have one of its own designs to be introduced by the American.
- Compared to most athletic brands one would expect Puma to be getting the raw end of the deal. But then how many of us were wrong when they snapped up Usain Bolt, The World’s Fastest Man, to be their brand ambassador.
- Now Puma has been around for 65 years and they definitely have shoe game. With the recent launch of their shoe technology called IGNITE they have changed the game of running.
- The IGNITE trainer features a perforated mesh upper with overlays made from this newly engineered PU plastic that locks in the midfoot down, and combined with the heel counter, ensures that stability is maintained to maximise performance for the runner. Underneath the IGNITE midsole, ForEverFoam is placed underneath the heel of the outsole, an ultra-durable compound enhance durability to make sure one gets plenty of mileage from these sneakers.
- Usain Bolt highly rates this sneaker. “I start out with a running shoe to warm up before going into a spike, and I need a shoe that is comfortable and keeps my energy up. I love IGNITE for that, and can feel it make a real difference. It’s a pretty good looking shoe as well,” said the Jamaican.
Under Armour Speedform
- Under Armour wanted to design a shoe for running, so that people could go for the marathon, the half marathon, any distance. They wanted a shoe originally designed for going long and thus the Speedform was introduced.
- It has a foot-wrapping, open-mesh upper and a sewn-in foot bed that creates go-fast agility and snug connectivity to the shoe’s undercarriage. The smooth, interior of the upper and seamless heel cup add to the connectivity of the precise, performance-oriented fit.
- What makes this shoe special is its adaptive cushioning technology—it serves up a soft feeling when you step in and run at slower speeds but offers a slightly more firm and responsive sensation with higher forces and faster speeds.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Memphis Depay, a football player at Manchester United, have been endorsing Under Armour for some time and they both use the Speedform in their daily gym activities.
So there we have it. The technology used in shoes will only get better from now on. Major sports brands have been spending ridiculous amounts of money in order to provide the very best for its consumers. One thing is for sure and that is the technology used in shoes or any other sports gear is here to stay as it has been widely appreciated by celebrities, athletes and day to day consumers.