Posted by: Joe English | June 16, 2008

Gear: Running shoes give an edge in the Olympic Marathon

Is there a shoe that is so exciting that Olympic hopefuls stay up at night dreaming about them? Or maybe sleep with them under their pillows? Apparently so. The International Herald Tribune reported last week on an amazing custom shoe design made for the fastest of the fast; one that the elites think might give them in the edge when their going for it all.

Here’s a brief except:

Shoes designed by Mimura, officially known as wet-grip soles, were on the feet of Mizuki Noguchi of Japan when she ran through the sometimes marbled and wet streets of Athens to win the women’s marathon at the 2004 Summer Olympics. He also made the footwear for Stefano Baldini of Italy, the 2004 men’s Olympic marathon champion, and the racing shoes — without rice husks — for Naoko Takahashi of Japan, who won the women’s marathon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Noguchi was quoted in a Japanese news report as saying that she slept with the rice-husk shoes next to her pillow the night before the 2004 Olympic victory. At the finish line in Athens, she took off one of her racing flats and kissed it. Later, she called Mimura the “god of shoes.”

Last fall, Noguchi said that she would wear an updated version of her “magic shoes” to defend her title in Beijing. Hall, the American, read a news-agency account of her remarks and became intrigued. This spring, running in a different model of Asics shoes, he finished fifth at the London Marathon and joined the list of marathon medal contenders at the Summer Games.

Read this fascinating article by clicking here.

Running Advice and News


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