Mizuno Be: a shoe to help prevent running injuries?
Barefoot running is now big business for sports footwear manufacturers, with most major running shoe brands launching their own ‘barefoot’ or minimalist running shoe.
Mizuno are due to launch their minimalist range in Spring 2013, but first they have released the Mizuno Be.
Based on the design of a rope sandal, called the Waraji worn in feudal Japan, the shoe is intended to be worn while walking as an aid to encourage muscle
activation in the lower leg. It is believed that this can help prevent common runners injuries including Achilles tendinitis and Plantar Fasciitis.
How do they work? The Waraji sandal was peculiar in its design as the toes hung over the edge of a short sole. The Be sandal has replicated this by
creating an indent in the inner sole.
Studies conducted by Mizuno (although interestingly, Mizuno would not release details of the study when asked) found that this allows the toes to curl and grip, improving muscle activation particularly the two main muscles across the base of the foot, providing wearers with more propulsion or toe off.
Purists would argue that doing a few short (one to two minutes) barefoot runs could accomplish this without call for a training shoe. But as a new runner, or someone that heel strikes, the Be could be a useful training tool and help prevent you spending hundreds of pounds in massage fees.
Of course, without long term studies, it is impossible to know how useful these shoes really are as a training tool but they are incredibly comfortable to walk in and look good.
Our one gripe about the style? The women’s shoe is pink and grey compared to the men’s version in red and grey.
When will sports wear companies understand that most women are fed up with pink?