Note: Blog post subject matter is discussed in more detail on the Athalonz Podcast.
There are three key aspects to a golf shoe that affect athletic performance. (1) How the shoe interfaces with the ground; (2) How the forces traverse within the shoe between the ground and the foot; and (3) How the foot interfaces with the shoe. In this blog, we’ll discuss the second key aspect: How the forces transfer between the outsole and the foot.
As we’ve previously discussed, the golf swing draws it power from the ground. The body pushes on the ground and the ground pushes back, which is called ground reaction force. Our body uses the ground reaction force to execute the golf swing. How fast we move our body and the golf club over a distance using the ground reaction force dictates our power.
Not all of the ground reaction force goes directly into our bodies; some of it leaks out. The part of the ground reaction force that goes into our body is called athletic force and the part that leaks out is called leakage force. It’s the athletic force we use to execute the golf swing. The leakage force detracts from our golf swing.
For instance, leakage force causes sway when we take our back-swing. The leakage force is literally pushing us backwards and we have to use some of the athletic force to reverse the sway. During the down swing, the leakage force can cause our front side to open up too soon. When this occurs, the upper body compensates by dragging the club through the hitting zone, which often produces a slice.
What dictates how much athletic force and leakage force are created from the ground reaction force is the shoes. More precisely, how the ground reaction force traverses through the shoes.
Most golf shoes have a U-shaped forefoot section. This angles ground reaction force away from the body. With reference to the adjacent figure, the athletic force aligns with our leg and the ground reaction force is angled away from the body. The angle between the ground reaction force and the athletic force dictates the amounts of athletic force and leakage force that results from the ground reaction force.
The larger the angle, the more leakage force and the less athletic force are created.
So, why would a golf shoe manufacturer make a U-shaped forefoot? For several reasons. The first being they don’t study how the forces between the body interacting with the ground during a golf swing traverse through the shoe. Secondly, it’s easier to manufacture a golf shoe (or any shoe for that matter) with a U-shaped forefoot. Thirdly, they view golf shoes more as apparel and less as golf equipment, so most shoes are designed by designers without any physical science training.
By reducing the angle, the ground reaction force is angled towards the body. This decreases leakage force and increases athletic force with respect to the above drawing.
Ground reaction force can be shifted towards the body based on a forefoot slope within the shoes. The slope is about 4 degrees and angles downward from the lateral side to medial side (e.g., outside edge to inside edge of the shoe).
Athalonz golf shoes have this forefoot inward slope. As such, in comparison to other golf shoes, Athalonz golf shoes provide more athletic force and less leakage force. More athletic force means more power. Less leakage force means less sway and the front side staying in, which reduces the chance of slicing.
By manipulating how the forces between the body and the ground traverse through the shoes, more athletic force and less leakage force can be created. This allows a golfer to have a more powerful and stable base to go after his or her shots with more confidence and more control.
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.
Athalonz is a technology company based on 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
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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Today was a good bit of climbing. A little over 2,000 feet of elevation gain. Not as much as day 1 or day 2, but not trivial. I am really enjoying traveling through the small towns. The people have been friendly, the service has been good, and the food has been excellent.