Talking of springy shoes, what about these:

Anybody had a pair in the lab yet?


On 6/4/07, James Finley wrote:
> This may be related to the previous thread regarding running prostheses,
> but does anyone know if
> there is a clear definition of the term 'spring' within the IAAF or USATF?
> Although we
> conventionally associate the term with a coiled piece of metal, it seems
> as though any elastic
> material which stores and returns energy, such as rubber, could be labeled
> a spring.
> Is the issue with Spira shoes the actual presence of a component which
> physically resembles a
> spring or is it the fact that a 'significant' amount of energy is returned
> during push-off? If the
> former, would a shoe with highly elastic midsole or forefoot be considered
> legal? If the latter,
> then I think Krafsur makes a good point below regarding past technological
> advances in track
> surface materials and shoe design.
> Is there a line drawn for maximum shoe efficiency?
> James
> ********************************
> James Finley
> Ph.D. Student
> Department of Biomedical Engineering
> Northwestern University
> ==============Original message text===============
> On Sun, 03 Jun 2007 8:43:36 am CDT "Jamie S. Carruthers" wrote:
> Spira is a little shoe company that has started quite a stir in the
> running world. Note the following:
> That principal was also challenged yesterday, it emerged, in El Paso,
> Texas, where a footwear company is suing the International
> Association of Athletics Federations and USA Track and Field. Spira
> Footwear claim that technological innovations have caused their
> running shoes to be banned. They allege that sport rules banning
> assisted devices violate US laws on restraint of trade and
> monopolistic practices. They say athletics' rules prevent their
> patented WaveSpring technology from gaining acceptance. The company
> say seven runners will be wearing its shoes at the Boston Marathon
> next Monday.
> The IAAF is already embroiled in controversy over the use of a carbon
> fibre
> prosthetic used by South African Paralympic gold medallist Oscar
> Pistorius,
> the so-called "fastest man on no legs". They expect to rule out the
> double
> amputee's spring legs which single-amputee rivals believe give him an
> unfair
> advantage.
> ==================
> See below:
> _ (
> Spira's™ patented WaveSpring™ technology may be the most significant
> advancement ever achieved in the footwear industry.*
> WaveSpring™ returns energy with every step.
> Ray Fredericksen, president of Sports Biomechanics, Inc. compares
> typical midsole materials found in many athletic shoes to running in
> sand. While initially perceived as soft and comfortable, these shoes
> require the wearer to exert greater effort. Muscles must work harder,
> causing fatigue and increasing the risk of injury.
> Unlike traditional shoe midsoles made primarily of foams, rubber
> compounds, or polymers, WaveSpring™ technology stores and disburses
> energy with every step. Testing performed by an independent source
> reports that 87% - 96% of the energy is returned from the
> WaveSpring™. This is the highest energy return score for any midsole
> material ever tested.**
> WaveSpring™ is light and compact.
> The WaveSpring™ is laterally stable, lightweight, compact, and can
> easily fit into a typical shoe midsole. The technology is in the heel
> and forefoot of the shoe. As such, it has the appearance of a normal
> shoe. Looking from the outside no one will know you have a spring in
> your step but you!
> WaveSpring™ technology will not break down.
> Traditional midsole materials work through compression and often
> breakdown quickly. The WaveSpring™ is mechanical. The spring will
> outlast the shoe. The wearer will have a "new shoe" feel from the
> first day it is worn to the last!
> "Unlike rubbers and polymers, the springs have an almost infinite
> fatigue life. The shoe will fall apart before the spring performance
> degrades."
> Popular Mechanics magazine
> Shoe Technology Review, July 2003
> "I feel it is the first technological advance that has been truly
> meaningful in the shoe industry in many years."
> Donald A. Chu Ph.D., PT, ATC CSCS
> Director, Athletic Training & Rehabilitation
> Stanford University
> *Patented and patents pending.
> **Sports Biomechanics, Inc., Michigan State University, May 2001
> ===================
> But so would Spira, Krafsur's shoe company.
> "Track and field has always embraced innovation," Krafsur said
> recently . "We're jumping with fiberglass poles, not bamboo. We run
> on very springy tracks, not cinders. We run in very sophisticated
> racing spikes as opposed to leather straps like 'Chariots of Fire.' "
> Why can't we compete, Krafsur wonders, with springs in our shoes?
> Banned in races
> As North Jersey runners descend upon Long Branch for the New Jersey
> Marathon this morning, Krafsur is busy waging war with the
> International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) and USA
> Track and Field (USATF). Both organizations prohibit runners from
> competing in shoes with springs.
> Any runner who wins a race governed by either organization's
> guidelines while wearing Spira running shoes is subject to
> disqualification.
> "I have read about the shoe, but till now it has not come up with
> regard to our New Jersey Marathon," race director Art Castellano
> wrote in an e-mail. "Since we are not a [money] marathon, it may not
> be a factor, but if the USATF is opposed to it and we are under the
> auspices of that organization, we are also opposed to this shoe at
> this time."
> Other race directors echo that opinion. So Krafsur, a 45-year-old
> lawyer with a size-9 foot, decided it was time to fire back. Earlier
> this month, he filed an antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court,
> suing the IAAF and USATF for $10 million. He believes their policies
> governing shoes with spring technologies have fostered a "restraint
> of competition." According to the lawsuit, "the concern by athletes
> is so great that most elite runners are unwilling to race in Spira
> footwear."
> Yet Spira success stories are beginning to pop up at marathons across
> the country. Keith Pierce, a distance runner from Texas, won the
> Cowtown Marathon in February while wearing the shoes. Oleg Strijakov,
> a 43-year-old Russian who lives in Florida, captured the Boston
> Marathon's Masters division crown (for runners age 40 and over) in a
> pair of Spiras....
> Foot Solutions, a foot-care company that has locations in Ramsey and
> Caldwell, is one of the few places where you can find Spira shoes in
> New Jersey. Louise Van Osten, owner of the Ramsey franchise, said the
> shoe reduces impact between your foot and the ground by 85 percent.
> "Basically what it does is it helps your joints, no matter what age
> they are," Van Osten said. "Arthritis, lower back pain ... having
> that reduction of impact between you and the ground really helps you
> become and stay more active."
> The simplest of questions is the one Krafsur cannot answer: Do his
> shoes make you faster?
> "I don't know if they make you faster or not," Krafsur said. "What I
> can tell you, and I'm very confident in saying this, when you finish
> the race, there's going to be less stress on your body. The comment
> that I've received from several people is, 'For the first time in 50
> marathons, I'm able to walk the next day.' "
> ======================
> Inform the buying public that using your product would be cheating.
> That it's banned. Not allowed.
> _ (
> What would seem like a hindrance could actually lead to a break for a
> budding brand.
> In the most famous case, Nike's first pair of Air Jordans was banned
> by the NBA because of discrepancies with the league's uniform rules.
> The shoe's namesake, Michael Jordan, wore the red shoes anyway. Nike
> paid the fines. And sales took off....
> But that's exactly what the former attorney and aerospace engineer
> have done. Their shoes have a patented spring technology that claims
> to reduce the impact on a runner's feet, which leads to easier
> recovery and less overall exertion. It's all good for the runner,
> unless he or she is participating in an event sanctioned by USA Track
> & Field or the International Association of Athletics Federations.
> Because the shoes provide an energy return and use springs, they are
> specifically banned by those organizations. So any runner in Monday's
> Boston Marathon crossing the finish line in Spira shoes risks being
> disqualified.
> Given the sheer number of people in the race, thousands who qualified
> and hundreds more, called bandits, running without a number, it's
> highly doubtful that anyone other than elite runners would be caught.
> "We can't track everything," said Steve Vaitones, referee for the
> Boston Marathon. "Whether it's a pair of shoes or if it's someone
> giving a runner a bottle with some banned substance in it."
> As long as cheating isn't being done by the elite runners, officials
> at the Boston Marathon aren't expected to do much about it. All of
> the elite runners have shoe contracts and the Krafsurs have yet to
> dare offer an elite runner a sponsorship deal lucrative enough to be
> worth a disqualification.
> The ban has created some buzz for Spira. The shoes recently appeared
> on the morning shows on ABC, NBC and Fox.
> But Andy Krafsur, chief executive of the company, doesn't necessarily
> want to embrace the outlaw role forever. He's already had
> conversations with USATF officials, who so far have refused to make
> any changes to its rules.
> "The rule is outdated," Krafsur said. "If you go back and [look
> through] history, all new technology was banned -- from the oversized
> tennis racket to the aluminum bat to the metal driver."
> Krafsur said his shoes don't make a runner faster since the shoe
> doesn't provide more energy than a runner puts into each step. The
> design of the shoes, he said, simply allows the runner to recover
> more quickly.
> Vaitones doesn't buy that. He said Spira shoes are performance
> enhancers.
> "If you recover faster that means you can run more easily, which
> means that over time you can run faster and farther," Vaitones
> said. "Steroids don't allow you to see the baseball better, but if
> you hit it, it might go 20 to 30 feet more, which could be the
> difference between a home run and an out."
> =========================
> Any comments?
> Jamie Carruthers
> Wakefield, UK
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Dr. Chris Kirtley MB ChB, PhD
from 1 May to 31 July 2007 I am at:
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