Thursday, August 1, 2013

Adidas Brings New "Springblade" Shoe Design to Market

Adidas Springblade shoe.jpg
 
Remember a few years back when Nike brought the shoe design "Shox" to the market?
 
The idea was some springs placed in the heel of the shoe allowed for better cushioning and actually used the runner's kinetic energy to compress the springs & then get a return of some of that energy as the springs "bounce" back.
 
Well, now Adidas has taken that concept to a whole new level with the shoe design they are calling "Springblade".  As you can see from the photo above, it's an interesting concept.  The sole of the shoe has a series of "blades" (16 total) that comprises the entire sole.  Basically the only part of the shoe that makes contact with the ground are the blades.  They are made of a strong polymer resin and instead of using the spring concept where the spring is compressed and then vertically expands to return to its original shape, the blade concept redirects the energy.
 
That redirection of energy is key to the Springblade concept.  In the pic, you'll notice that the blades are attached to the shoe at an angle.  This angle compresses with the weight of the runner during a stride and then rebounds as the next stride is taken.  However, unlike a spring which returns the energy vertically, the blade's angle attachment means that as the blade returns to its normal shape the kinetic energy imparted to it propels the runner forward.  
 
The company has spent some time and money with R&D on this concept as they have even gone so far as to customize the blade concept for different shoe sizes.  The idea being that the weight of a male wearing a large size shoe will impart completely different physical forces than a female wearing a much smaller size.  Supposedly the shoes are "calibrated" to provide maximum effect for each shoe size.
 
Will they truly make a difference?  At this point it is anyone's guess.  However, the concept certainly is intriguing to me and definitely makes sense from a science and logic standpoint.  Heck I may get a pair  just so I can evaluate them...

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