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Mizuno Be

August 8, 2012

With the Olympics in town, there are all sorts of sporting brands trying to create a bit of a buzz. I was fortunate enough to be invited down to the Mizuno Performance Centre at Tottenham Court Road for the unveiling of their new Mizuno Be running shoe.

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The shoe was designed by an ex-junior athlete who’s career was cut short by injury. Interestingly the Be is not a running shoe. It’s designed to strengthen feet when not running.

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The inner sole of the shoe ends before the toes. They’re based on ancient samurai sandals, apparently. The idea is that your toes can flex more so you use more power to move from the ground, strengthening your feet.
The idea is that this improves your foot’s efficiency for the propulsive phase of your gait – essentially the push-off part of your run. So, in theory, a stronger propulsive phase makes you a faster runner.
The shoe has a rigid heel that pushes you to slap your foot down. However, the idea is that you should avoid slapping your foot, which makes you work various lower-leg muscles.
Unlike the Vibrams and other ‘barefoot’ shoes, the Be is not designed to correct a heel-striker. The principles behind the shoe seem to be that it aims to reduce injury through strengthening rather than retraining.
This shoe apparently works for all sports. Except swimmers. And maybe not cyclists. But all sports, deffo.

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