If the Shoe Fits

Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.

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            For a golf swing, power relates to how fast we accelerate our body and club from our load position to the point of contact.  The faster we do this, the greater the club head speed will be at the point of contact, which translates into hitting the ball further.  There’s a bit more physics to this, but that’s the general concept. 

            Power for the golf swing, or any other athletic movement for that matter, comes from our body pushing on the ground and the ground pushing back.  The ground pushing back is called ground reaction force, which we be equal and opposite to the force we applied on the ground.  We use the ground reaction force to accelerate our body and club from load to contact.  Thus, the more ground reaction force we have, the more power we can create.

            The forces between our body and the ground traverse through our shoes.  How the forces traverse through the shoes impact our ground reaction force and, as such, impacts our power.  To discuss this, let’s start with, when we’re in our golf stance, our legs are at an angle to the ground.  So, our weight is pushing the shoe down into the ground and is also pushing the shoe outward along the ground. 

            To further the discussion, shoes have two contact points: (1) the shoe to the ground; and (2) our foot to the shoe.  Due to the angle of our legs, each contact point includes a horizontal component (i.e., parallel to the ground) and a vertical component (i.e., perpendicular to the ground). 

            I think we all know about the importance of the first contact point: the shoe to ground.  If that breaks down, we slip.  Slipping occurs when the horizontal force our body applies to the bottom of the shoe exceeds the friction force of the shoe to ground horizontal connection.  Cleats improve the shoe to ground horizontal friction force, which minimizes slipping. 

            I believe most people and shoe manufactures overlook the importance of the second contact point of the foot to the shoe.  If the shoe provides little to no horizontal reaction force, the foot will move within the shoe due to the foot pushing out on the shoe.  The foot moves in the shoe due to very light weight upper materials and/or a slight U-shape of the midsole of the shoe.  Shoe manufactures design a U-shape midsole to ease the manufacturing process.

The light weight upper provides very little resistance to the horizontal push of the foot during the swing.    If the golfer is trying to keep his/her weight on the inside of his or her foot, the U-shaped midsole promotes the foot to move outward in the shoe.  When the foot moves in the shoe, force is lost, which reduces power.  

            I also believe most people and shoe manufactures overlook the importance of the direction of the forces between the foot to shoe contact point and the shoe to ground contact point.  With a U-shape midsole, the ground reaction force traversing through the shoe from the shoe-ground contact point to the foot-shoe contact point is pointing away for the body. 

With the ground reaction force pointing away from the body, there is less of it to convert into power.  Further, it promotes swaying (e.g., the foot moving in the shoe and body weight shifting to maintain balance), which creates timing and power issues.

At Athalonz, we’re manipulated the forces through the shoe to provide more horizonal reaction force so the foot does not move within the shoe.  In addition, we’ve manipulated the ground reaction forces from the shoe-ground contact point to the foot-shoe contact point so that they point towards the body.  By stablishing the foot in the shoe and having ground reaction force point towards the body, a golfer will have more ground reaction force, which translated into more power, and will eliminate sway. 

            The forces are manipulated using our EnVeTM technology for which we have thirteen issued US patents (see athalonz.com/patents for a list of our patents).  As a brief overview, our EnVeTM technology dynamically shifts forces from the heel to the toe and, in the forefoot, shifts forces from lateral edge to the medial edge.  The dynamic shifting of forces not only helps produce a more powerful, consistent, and stable golf swing, it also reduces, for many, stress on their feet, ankles, knees, hips, and/or lower back.  As such, our shoe fit and they do a whole lot more.

About Me: 

I am the CEO and Founder of Athalonz, LLC., I am a founding partner of the patent boutique law firm of Garlick & Markison, I am a survivor of child abuse, and I am an inventor on over 300 patents.

About Athalonz:

Athalonz is a technology company based in Mesa, AZ.  It develops and sells athletic footwear, which incorporates its patented technology that leverages the laws of physics to improve athletic performance.  Website: athalonz.com

About G&M:

Garlick & Markison is a patent law boutique firm that assists clients in building a patent business within their business using proprietary tools and techniques.  Website: texaspatents.com

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