What's the deal with segmented outsoles?

Hey guys,

In looking at the new adidas training line, I’ve seen a definite trend in their “Plush” trainer series. The forefoot seems to be segmented…Is there any tangible performance gain with this implementation, or is it purely for aesthetics?






I know in many of the upcoming/current And 1 shoes, you see a segmented outsole that allows for three intrinsic points of contact at any given time (making the shoe much lower), but I can’t necessarily assimilate the importance of a segmented forefoot.





Anyone have any ideas?

Good question.

im not really that much into biomechanics, but the basic principle i would assume is to help with a more ergonomic flex pattern. ideally, you want an outsole to flex under the forefoot around certain metatarsal joints to help reinforce the natural flex pattern of the foot. a segmented outsole or flex grooves as most running or performance outsoles have helps this.

that being said, there is also for sure a component of aesthetic design in any of the examples you post or other shoes. there is always a trade off between flex and support especially in the forefoot where metatarsal joint injury can occur if there is not correct cushioning or material between the foot and the ground when force in walking/running/jumping is applied.

R

btw- what is that and1 shoe? looks pretty cool

In the case of the And 1 shoe, the segmentation doesn’t make the shoe any lower. To make the shoe lower you simple take out cushioning, there is no other way to do it.

The big trend in segmentation was really pushed by Nike Free 3 or so years ago, but flex notches have long been a staple functional feature in athletic footwear. It is amazing how much even a slight flex notch works. We did a full flex goove in the Jordan Highrise last year. I angled the notch and stacked a small zoom air bag ontop of it to alleviate the issues R talks about. The extended testing shows this shoe to be one of the best playing shoes we’ve ever done. You can see the bead of midsole in the pic below:

im not really that much into biomechanics, but the basic principle i would assume is to help with a more ergonomic flex pattern. ideally, you want an outsole to flex under the forefoot around certain metatarsal joints to help reinforce the natural flex pattern of the foot. a segmented outsole or flex grooves as most running or performance outsoles have helps this.

Thanks.

I’ve never really taken an art class (I’m sure both of you-or all of the members are shivering with horror at that statement), so my initial creations aren’t looking too great…Therefore, I’d really like to learn alot about biomechanics and the intrinsic movement of the foot, so as to give my designs a bit more flavor and help them tangibly.

Yo, I appreciate the correction on my post. I have played in a couple of shoes with the exact same outsole configuration, and all have seemed lower than several of the shoes I’ve played in. In talking with the designer, I found the segments are actually anatomical flex zones, which may have led to my initial premonitions. In looking back, Free seems to have been the first series of shoe were I noticed the outsole segmentation for natural foot movement.

Thanks for providing the picture of the traction pattern on the High Rise too…The flex groove seems to be a nice little touch that will go a long way on the hardwood–I may have to check them out!

Ruchinsky: The And 1 shoes are called the Onslaught and I think they’re scheduled for an August/September release, but I’m not sure. That particular model was a special makeup for the opening of Solebar L.A. on 7-7-07.




Lastly, R:

What are these?! I really dig 'em. I’m running a bit low on funds now, but if you have a size 13 available, or a place online where I can grab a pair, let me know.

Thanks.

yeah? how is this determined? what injuries can occur?

how so? that is if you are allowed to say…

glad you like. Those were from FW06, and pretty limited distribution so im not sure if you can get them anymore. if you like, you can try contacting someone at hummel head office. contact numbers/info are at www.hummel.dk

cheers,

R