becoming a very crowded niche

The Running Warehouse Blog just posted a preview of two new cushioned zero drop shoes from Mizuno: the Mizuno Evo Levitas and Evo Cursoris. Both are due to come out in early 2013, and fill what is rapidly becoming a very crowded niche occupied by shoes like the currently available Altra Instinct, New Balance MR00, & Saucony Hattori, and the soon to be released Skechers Go Bionic, Saucony Virrata, & Brooks Pure Drift. Running Nike Air Max 97 Donne Warehouse indicates that “zero drop with a bit more protection and increased comfort is set to be a big story in 2013,” and based on recent trends and product announcements I can’t help but agree.Details on these shoes remain scant, but the Running Nike Air Max 90 Damen Warehouse Blog reports that the Mizuno Evo Levitas is the more minimal of the two shoes, with a stack height of 15mm in both the heel and forefoot, a weight of 6.5 oz (men’s). It is also touted as having a wide forefoot and narrow midfoot. Here are some photos of the Levitas:I’m pleased to see Mizuno increasing it’s variety of offerings at the more minimal end of the shoe scale. I was recently invited to join the Mizuno Mezamashii Project and this included a pair of free shoes, and the only shoe in the current catalogue that matches my tastes is the Wave Universe (though it’s a great Nike Court Lite Damskie one!). I’ve run in both the Ronin and Musha and though they are both solid choices in the transitional lightweight trainer/racer category, I find them a bit too much shoe for my taste. Had either the Levitas or Cursoris been available I would have jumped Nike Air Max 270 Damen on them right away!The one big question with both of these shoes, as it is with many minimalist shoes, will be durability relative to price. MSRP for the Levitas is $110, and for the Cursoris is $120. I wish more shoe companies would make shoes like the New Balance 730 – minimal yet extremely affordable. Nonetheless, it’s great to see another shoe company diversifying its offerings. If Mizuno would bring the Ekiden stateside they’d have quite the lineup!A few days ago I received a literature review update from my friend Blaise Dubois, and among the many articles he summarized was one in particular that caught my eye. The article from the July 2012 issue of Medicine & Science in Sport & Exercise is titled “Predictors of Three-Dimensional Breast Kinematics during Bare-Breasted Running.” The study authors are Louise Ellen Wood, Nike Air VaporMax Damen Jennifer White, Alexandra Milligan, Bessie Ayres, Wendy Hedger, and Joanna Scurr.
Now, as a father of an 8-year-old boy, I’m more than willing to admit that I sometimes share his level of maturity and sense of humor on topics like this (much to my poor wife’s chagrin!), but my first thought on seeing this study was “How the heck did they get this past an Institutional Review Board???” Well, as you might surmise the research team was composed of six women, and the question they addressed was actually quite serious.In an article titled Bouncing Breasts: A Credible Area of Scientific Research(apparently you have to have a good sense of humor when you work in this area), team member Dr. Joanna Scurr explains that exercise related breast pain has been reported in 56-72% of females in previous scientific studies, and that “appropriate Adidas Superstar Hombre breast support has been identified as the most effective form of treatment for breast pain and prevention of breast sag.” Their overarching goal is therefore to attempt to find the most effective form of support for exercising women of varying breast size.
The study linked above had a more narrow focus in simply try to determine how the breasts move during bare-chested running in women with varying chest sizes. Here is the Abstract summarizing the research:This study aimed to analyze differences in breast kinematics between breast cup sizes during running and the ability of breast and body size measurements to explain these differences.Forty-eight women (A to G cup; mean ± SD: age = 26.0 ± 6.0 yr, stature = 1.667 ± 0.064 m, mass = 62.78 ± 8.24 kg) with chest sizes of 32 to 38 inches participated. Chest and breast girths, a Nike Dunk SB Low Donne restricted anthropometric profile, suprasternal notch to nipple distances, and body mass index were measured, and breast mass was estimated. Multiplanar relative breast displacement, velocity, and acceleration during treadmill running were then recorded. Adidas ZX 700 Femme Differences in breast kinematics were compared between cup sizes before and after allometric/polynomial scaling using significant breast and body size measures.
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