Quit running on marshmallows!

Quit running on marshmallows!

As runners, we generate lots of different sorts of forces when we run. Let’s focus on one: the impact force when you land. The first thing to know is that impact force changes considerably as the pace changes.

This makes intuitive sense. Faster running requires flying farther through the air, and that means a greater impact when you land. So the faster you run, the greater the impact.

Okay, so what’s the point? Here’s why the precise amount of impact force matters. The impact force changes so dramatically from pace to pace that midsole foam (it doesn’t matter which kind) can’t correctly react to all paces. In fact, the impact force at 6 min/mile (3:45 min/km) is different enough from the force at 8 min/mile (5:00 min/km) that no midsole can respond efficiently to both paces. This is physics! The only way to address this issue is to tune midsoles by pace zone. By tuning shoes according to pace, we’re able to optimize the cushioning you get given the forces you generate.

What’s so important about optimized cushioning in a running shoe? Your current shoe almost certainly doesn’t have the proper amount of cushioning. You’re likely running on a midsole that’s either too hard or too soft for the particular impact force you generate. If it’s too hard, you don’t get the cushioning you need to stay healthy. If your midsole is too soft, you can have stability issues. You’ll also be running in shoes that smush down on landing and wreck your efficiency. Kind of like running on marshmallows. 

I think we can all agree that running on marshmallow midsoles wouldn’t be ideal. Why not run in shoes optimized to respond to the forces inherent at your pace? Hello pace-tuned shoes.


More About Vimazi

Here’s what Vimazi does
We make pace-tuned running shoes that provide better cushioning and more efficiency than previous generations of running shoes.

The physics of pace-tuned shoes
Back in 2017, while Vimazi CEO Scott Tucker was running to his 6am interval workout, he had an idea. A shoe made for a specific pace, he thought, might offer better cushioning and more propulsive efficiency than a generic shoe that wasn’t “tuned” for a particular pace.

It took three years to fully understand the physics of human running, and the forces that are generated. When we finally understood the physics, we built an equation that defines running forces. We’re now able to calculate the exact impact force and propulsion force, in Newtons, for any pace, including variations for height, weight, and cadence. (A Newton is a metric unit of force.) Data from the Forces in Running study we conducted aligned with the force calculations we got from the physics. In other words, we know it works.

Knowing the precise impact and propulsion forces at each pace, allowed us to create shoe models for different pace zones. So our pace-tuned technology is based on pure physics. No hand waving, no conjecture, no correlative studies, no self-reported data sets, no marketing fluff. We started with the physics of human running, and it led us to pace-tuned shoes.

The problem with previous gen running shoes
Most running shoes have the same foam density from heel to toe, and they’re sold to runners of every pace. The trouble is that midsole foam can’t respond correctly to the forces at all paces, and it can’t even respond appropriately to the differences between impact and propulsion forces. To make sure you get all the cushioning you want as well as all the efficiency you deserve, you need a shoe that’s made for a specific pace zone and tuned differently in the heel than the forefoot.

The Vimazi solution
Our solution to this running shoe problem was to create something that's never been done before—pace-tuned running shoes. In 2023, after years of testing, we launched seven road shoe models that span paces from 4:30 minutes per mile to 15 minutes per mile (2:50-9:30 minutes per kilometer). By making a shoe for a specific pace zone, we’ve been able to deliver better impact cushioning and propulsion efficiency for every runner.

25 years experience
We’ve taken everything we learned making running shoes for 25 years—and running marathons for even longer—and elevated it to a whole new level with pace tuning. It offers a better and more personal running experience. We were instrumental in creating shoes for Montrail, Scott Sports, and Pearl Izumi. We learned even more while owning a specialty running store and organizing running events.

A marathoner’s fit
Running shoes can have the best tech, but if they don’t fit well, nobody will wear them. We wouldn’t either! Not only have we spent our careers perfecting innovative fit technologies at other companies, notably at Montrail, we’re also life-long marathon runners ourselves. So we understand fit and know how critical it is, from heel to toe. Each of our models has been painstakingly designed and built with the perfect fit in mind. They’ve also been extensively road tested since 2019, including at the Boston, London, Portland, Missoula, San Antonio, and Two Oceans Marathons. We think you’ll love them.


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