The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Smart Running: High-Tech Shoe Promises Freedom From Torn Muscles

Posted by on Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

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Many a couch potato has hit the streets, determined to run “as fast, as long, and as hard” as possible — only to find that this bravado leads to little more than pulled muscles and torn ligaments. One should always keep in mind that “slow and steady wins the race” when beginning a new exercise program. Yet, wouldn’t it be great if you could have a little help from your running shoes to know just how much damage you were doing? Researchers from Germany have developed a new high-tech running shoe that does just that!

Shoe Provides Feedback On Running Form

Running is a healthy, yet dangerous, sport. Along with all the cardiovascular, weight loss, and endurance benefits come the risks of pulling ligaments, twisting ankles, stress fractures, tearing muscles, and blowing out a knee. German researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems IPMS and colleagues are developing a specialized running shoe with sensors and  microelectronics integrated into the sole that will measure biomechanical data to evaluate runner form in real-time.

Biomechanical Data Assessments Include Alerts For:

– Incorrect foot positioning

– Asymmetrical loading

– Exhaustion

– Overloading

How The High Tech Running Shoe Works

The measurement system removes from the soles for charging, just as you’d charge a cell phone. The system includes a micro-controller, RF module, batteries, accelerometers, and GPS sensors that connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

Users can then receive data from the Smartphone app, which will provide automatic feedback. This data is also transmitted to a website where a customized training program set to personalized performance goals can be created and tracked.

“The app could recommend running more slowly, for example, or rolling off the foot differently, suggest seeking a different running surface or stopping if necessary,” explains Dr. Andreas Heinig.

high tech running shoes
Currently, these neat high-tech running shoes are in the testing and validation stage of development. Image Source: RunSafer.eu

 

Right now, the shoe and the app have been completed, but researchers say they are focused on slimming down the prototype and conducting further tests to ensure the final product is waterproof and durable. Feasibly, the new high-tech athletic shoe could be ready for the market at the beginning of 2015, offered by Spanish sportswear brand New Millenium Sports SL / Kelme.

Should You Consider Biomechanics & Gait Analysis?

While we wait for this technology to make it to our home closets, runners can come in for a gait analysis from sports medicine professionals now. Our Manhattan office at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine is fully equipped to measure all aspects of a runner’s gait, including:

– Foot step analysis measured by mat sensors to calculate pattern, speed, stride length, and step time

– Force & pressure measurements taken through floor plates to check your exertion level

– 3D motion analysis using infrared markers to assess the amount of stress placed on the joints

Slow motion video cameras to give you a more detailed analysis from real running coaches.

Gait analysis and biomechanical assessments are ideal whether you’re starting a new exercise program, looking to become more competitive by improving your form, or addressing issues of chronic pain that have been dogging you. Book online with our NYC sports medicine professionals to access the latest running technology now!

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.