A new paradigm in running shoe creation
The force is central
Andre Kriwet, True Motion founder and passionate creator of running shoes, about super-running shoes, the conventional approach to running shoe development and the revolutionary, nature-inspired True Motion paradigm, the U-TECH™ technology
Münster, April 2020
Higher pace, more cushioning, higher risk
Almost all the established brands are planning to launch so called „super shoes“ in the year 2020. Running shoes featuring midsoles with rigid PEBA (polyether block amide) or carbon plates. In these shoes, the runner is supposed to be faster, just like at the first marathon finished in under 2 hours a few months ago. The latest trend to fuel the global multi-billion dollar running shoe industry.
However, only the fastest runners, about 1 percent, can and should run in these shoes, and even for them, the economic benefit comes to only about 1-3 percent. The vast majority of the roughly 20 million runners in Germany run 4 minutes or more a kilometer and gain no advantage from these shoes. On the contrary, they may even lead to problems.
When the runner gets lost: time for a paradigm shift
Let’s remember previous trends: posted stability shoes to eliminate so-called overpronation, minimalistic shoes to imitate barefoot running, maximally cushioned shoes to make running easier.
They had one thing in common: the main beneficiary of these „innovations“ was the running shoe industry, while the runner often got lost on the way. Good health is a runner’s most valuable asset, as they strive to remain injury-free.
However, in spite of all the new running shoe technologies we still observe that about 50 percent of all runners become injured during a year. And this number hasn’t decreased in the last 30 years. Apparently, something goes wrong here.
As described above, we (the running shoe industry, retailers, and the media) „prescribed“ running shoes to our runners based on alleged “incorrect” movements (inward-rolling of the foot) in the last three decades. However, this approach entails some serious flaws:
- In runners, about 40 percent of all symptoms are located at the knee, which makes the knee more injury-prone than the foot.
- There are no scientific studies that unanimously show overpronation to cause injuries in runners. On the contrary, current studies show that reducing the inward rolling of the foot leads to more stress for the runner.
- Because of their prominent outsoles, running shoes change the natural mechanics of the musculoskeletal system and thus become a part of the problem.
For the running shoe industry, the philosophy to reduce and control the inward rolling of the foot (overpronation) by using stability posts and other technologies in the running shoe has been extremely rewarding. Manufacturers could develop technologies to „treat“ varying degrees of inward rolling. According to the slogan: a little bit, some more,severe. And via treadmill gait analyses and videos, retailers could show their customers in an accessible and comprehensible way to what extent different running shoes reduced this motion.
The only problem was, this didn’t really get us anywhere, the injury rate did not go down. In addition, this approach was very problem-focused, since it placed emphasis only on what was allegedly wrong with the runner. Like at the doctor’s office. While running should actually be all about enjoying it and having fun.
The True Motion new paradigm: centering instead of stabilizing
This is how our approach came about. No more treating of symptoms, but dealing with the CAUSE of the problem.
Forces that run through our body should be centered. Following the example of nature itself.
Conventional running shoes and their prominent outsoles shift forces that are created and move through your body when you run.
Thus, these forces are no longer led through the center of your joints but run by off-center. Thus, muscles need to work harder, biological structures are under non-physiological stress, the well-known symptoms ensue.
True Motion uses U-TECH™ technology inspired by the human foot (heel) and knee (meniscus) so forces are centered and run through the joint centers in a physiological way.
Almost daily, we receive incredulous messages from enthusiastic runners who report that after decades they are now finally able to run symptom-free again, without stability shoes or orthotic insoles. They praise the „trampoline effect“ caused by our U-TECH™ technology which just makes you feel like you want to keep on running endlessly.
More about the U-TECH™ technology
Prof. Dr. Gert-Peter Brüggemann, True Motion founder, professor of biomechanics