Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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DOR Podcast #98: How the Massive SuperComp Trainer was Made (ft. New Balance’s Danny Orr and Ethan Steiner)

Nate, Matt, and DJ are joined by two very special guests from New Balance: Danny Orr and Ethan Steiner. Danny & Ethan give us an inside look at the development and testing of New Balance's brand new max-stack training shoe, the FuelCell SuperComp Trainer. Boasting a whopping 47mm of midsole and a full-length EnergyArc carbon fiber plate, the SC Trainer was developed to maximize comfort, efficiency, and energy return. Danny & Ethan help us understand the technology behind EnergyArc, how they landed on 47mm of stack height, and more.

Listen to This Week's Podcast Here!

Direct Links: Apple | Spotify | Anchor

PS: Full SC Trainer review here.


0:00 - Introduction 
1:12 - Getting to know Ethan & Danny 
7:26 - The history & origin of the SC Trainer 
10:01 - The evolution of the FuelCell Foam 
15:27 - How New Balance tests its foams 
16:58 - The design and goal of EnergyArc 
23:33 - Testing methodology for human subjects in New Balance's lab 
28:37 - How New Balance designed the SC Trainer's massive stack height 
36:24 - Who is the SC Trainer for? 
43:38 - How the SC Trainer impacts fatigue resistance & running economy 
52:30 - What's coming next for the FuelCell line 
59:01 - Wrap-up

Science Blog: How Much Stability Do I Need?
By Chief Editor Matt Klein

A question frequently asked by both patients and readers is "If I do need stability, how much do I need?" The answer depends on several factors that can change over time.  The biggest factor is understanding how much or how little stability you can handle. The amount of stability you can handle may have both a low and high end. Shoes that are too stable or not stable enough both have the potential to cause issues. There is also variability in how much stability each person needs, as some people need a large amount, some people need a little, others can handle a variety and others are very sensitive (in a negative way) to shoe stabilizing methods. Most people can handle a variety of levels of stability. We encourage switching between a few pairs of shoes as the different amounts of stability and stimuli from different shoes provide a cross training effect. This may be helpful in reducing certain running related injuries (Malisoux et al., 2015). How much you can handle will depend on your individual mechanics, strength and endurance. The most common thing to focus on is comfort!!! 

While frontal plane (side to side) motion at the foot/ankle has been the biggest focus, we know now that just because someone may move excessively in a certain area does not mean they are going to have problems. Most people focus on pronation, which is the inward collapse of the foot during normal shock absorption. However, it also refers to supination, whereby some people actually collapse outwardly AFTER they land (less common, but there are still some people that do this). This is not to be confused with landing on the outside of your foot and rolling in (that's still pronation). Just because someone pronates or supinates doesn't mean they are going to have a problem. It also may just be the way they shock absorb. If you take away something someone is doing efficiently, you may cause problems elsewhere. However, if they do not have the strength, endurance or stability to handle those motions in that area, then a stability shoe may be helpful. How much stability you need will depend on how much correction you need. If you are having problems/injuries specifically related to excessive pronation/supination including injuries to the posterior tibialis, Achilles tendon or other tissues with known relationships to pronation/supination, a shoe with more stability may be a better idea (Malisoux et al., 2016). If you try those shoes but find them too stiff/uncomfortable, a shoe with a little less may be better.

Recent Episodes

#93: "Our 3000 Mile Journey"
#94: Surviving the Summer Heat
#95: Science of Designing Running Shoes
#96: Science of Biomechanical Shoe Testing
#97: Endorphin Speed 3 Q&A

Recently at Doctors of Running

Skechers Persistence - A beginner friendly shoe for daily training, featuring a forefoot H Plate for pop
Asics Metaspeed Sky+ - A big update to the super shoe stride racer
Topo Athletic Pursuit - A solid trail runner for almost any situation
New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Trainer - Brand new massive stacked shoe for long runs
Salomon Phantasm - Lighter, super rockered road shoe

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Skechers Persistence

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