Energy return out of your shoe is a concept as old as the air in Nikes! Reebok’s attempt to reinvent a similar gimmick is one of the worst I’ve seen in quite a while. I will admit that it is possible to gain energy momentum out of something underneath your feet. But utilizing a material which cannot return that energy is a blatantly bad marketing ploy! Reebok uses a material called EVA to create those zigzag design in their shoes. EVA is a polymer designed to absorb shock. As a result- the materials in the shoes are incapable of returning energy. If you were utilizing something such as carbon fiber to spring load the foot-as you might have seen with some of the amputee runners in the Olympics…you probably saw the curved carbon fiber “legs” underneath them- you can gain energy return. There was a lot of discussion about whether this gave them an unfair advantage when competing against non-amputee athletes. The reason being that there truly is energy returned from that carbon fiber which helps to propel the runner forward when strategically crafted and engineered like those were. This is a far cry from the use of a very common material used in lots of athletic shoes to create a “zig-zag” design underneath the foot. The material itself is intrinsically absorptive. It simply does not have the ability to return energy to the runner or user as claimed and is completely bogus. It is incapable of supplying any such energy return and I would challenge Reebok’s engineers to demonstrate their claim effectively! On top of that-the shoe lacks the necessary structural support that a good running shoe should have. Unfortunately, I often see and treat people AFTER they have been injured in a poorly fitting or poorly designed shoe which was recommended to them. The damage at that point has already been done! Do yourself and loved ones a favor-talk to a knowledgeable professional before you step out into something “innovative, different or better for you.”

So what are you telling me?!

  • 1. Take all marketing claims with a grain of salt. While there is some truth to some of what you hear-there is also quite a bit of mis-information. Be sure to do some reading and investigate companies’ claims into their products. Remember that even the best of ideas can become distorted and lose their value when taken out of context.
  • 2. Use specific shoes to perform specific tasks. Don’t get carried away with using one product all the time for everything that you do. Every tool has a function-and a shoe is a tool! Make sure to match the tool to the job you are performing.
  • 3. Don’t get caught up in hype! We so often want to use whatever is new and exciting-don’t let other people sell you on a product that they have bought into just because they have bought into it!

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Providing experienced private practice podiatry services in the Caldwell and Meridian, ID area since 2007.
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