The Ecco Biom

The Human Foot: It makes up to 175 calculations per second …….Yes, the foot is just about one of the most amazing pieces of engineering out there.  And when it works well, it is amazing. And when it goes sour……man it goes sour !

Watch this video for the new Ecco Biom.  This guy Torbjorn Sindballe is an amazing athlete. Through the sagittal plane his biomechanics look pristine. However, through the frontal plane, well that is another matter. We will discuss that in a moment.

Of first order, lets look at the video segment at 13 seconds.  In what at first looks like a cool video clip, at 13 seconds we see a foot flash before our eyes showing a heel strike barefooted (it appears to be running to us).  If it is in fact running, that is just not realistic. It is fine for walking gait but not for running, the impact is too great, the necessary control is excessive, and the deceleration forces just too much. 

* and to prove another point as to why heel strike while running is incorrect, think about this and then we will prove it at exactly 18 seconds into the video. The heel (calcaneus) is rounded. And it sits on top of a soft fat pad. If your sagittal mechanics are not perfect, the heel can wobble or rock suddenly and quickly from side to side. This is why you see running shoes with a deep seated heel counter and dual density foam in the arch to provide control and to help direct this foot forward onto the more stable bipod forefoot.  A single point is unstable, and thus heel strike at a running velocity is asking for trouble. Now, go and watch the video again at 18-19 seconds…..see that sudden jarring of the heel ! If you are going into an accentuated inversion or eversion event,  that impact event could carry you there in a hurry and that might not be good and/or it will necessitate a sudden ligamentous or muscular correction from the frontal stabilizers (which could lead to repetitive strain).  So when you run, in our opinion (and that of many of the experts and current research) perfect form is one of forefoot /mid-forefoot strike, then kiss the heel down to the ground if you wish and then lever off with glute and calf power. That is proper mechanics and shoes with thick generous heels can impede this normal event as Lieberman’s Harvard studies have shown.

Now, back to Torbjorn. Well, his sagittal mechanics are admittedly gorgeous !  But his frontal plane foot pronation mechanics leave a little something to be desired (don’t get us wrong, “if it ain’t broken, maybe you don’t fix it” when it comes to a super athlete like Torbjorn, and additionally as we know very well, what appears to be wrong is not always the case when you examine a person) but we do not like what we see. Particularly, at 36 seconds into the video you see rather aggressive left foot rear and mid foot pronation.  That might not be good over 26 miles and 100+ training weeks. The right foot needs a little work too if you ask us.  He should not be in that shoe if you ask us. But hey, who the heck are we anyways right ?……..

Shawn and Ivo……we are…….The Gait Guys……..(that’s who !)

(* Torbjorn, if you are reading……we could help you with that left foot if it becomes a problem. Lets hope not ! Keep up the really great performances, setting the standard !  Keep them looking at the backs of your shoes……and……just so you know…..we like some of the features of the shoe, we will be getting a pair and do a review unless you want to comp us a pair and begin some dialogue.)