Introduction to Stride Signature

Is there really one right way to run?

At first glance, all elite runners run the same way. With perfect running form, they glide away effortlessly with long, powerful strides.

Some of the hottest points of contention have been around for ages. Are all elite runners forefoot strikers, who rely on strong lower leg muscles to propel them forward? Are they all heel strikers, who use their entire foot to generate power? Are all of them midfoot strikers, who lightly tap with the forefoot before rocking back on the midfoot to generate momentum?

If there truly is only one optimum way to run, then we must focus all our training to copy it, all our time into researching it, and all our money to make it work out for us. Shoe technology may have to change, in pursuit of perfection.

How can we find the answer to that question?

What if we round up all the top runners in USA? And then, what if we can make them run together at the same time, at the same place? What if we can ensure that each top runner has the correct motivation to run at their best? Assuming if we can make all that happen, we have one near impossible task left – slow down time, and “freeze frame” to examine how they run. Surely the answer lies within.

What if we told you that it was done?

Iain Hunter, a biomechanist at BrighamYoungUniversity, placed a high speed camera at the side of the track at the legendary Hayward Field, at the University of Oregon. It was 2012, and America’s finest distance runners were running the 10,000 meter finals for the Olympic Trials. All of America’s best distance runners – at one place, running at the same time. Only the top 2 makes it into the Olympics.

A closer look shows…

Result for men's 10,000 meters finals

Results for men’s 10,000 meters finals

Women's 10,000 meter finals

Results for women’s 10,000 meters finals

There was no pattern.

In fact, we find how striking different these runners are! Life a signature or fingerprint, each runner leaves his or her own personal mark of individuality on the track. And the difference in foot strike is just the tip of the iceberg.

When the camera is zoomed out, we also see how different the nuances are at the ankle joint, knee joint and hip joint! Basically, every runner is different. And yet all of them have the capacity to be the best.

We have found that the principle of individuality – not some elusive perfect form – will shift our sport’s thinking about running, training, coaching. We believe this will set us off on a new paradigm on how we build running shoes.

Those who get it, will transcend above the rest.

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