What's a pace-tuned running shoe?

What's a pace-tuned running shoe?

We've been running marathons since we were freshmen in high school, and we're still running them. We've also worked in running footwear for more than 20 years. Needless to say, we know about running shoes, both how to design and manufacture them as well as how to make sure they feel great while you're running.

But all that knowledge and experience covers run-of-the-mill, one-size-fits-all running shoes. Pace-tuned shoes are different. So what exactly is a pace-tuned shoe?

In pace-tuned running shoes the density of the midsole foam has been adjusted to respond most efficiently to the forces created while running within a specific pace zone. In addition to being carefully engineered for various pace zones, pace-tuned shoes need to be tuned differently in the heel than the forefoot. Pace-tuning is a way of maximizing efficiency and optimizing cushioning for every runner. 

For instance, if your pace on a typical run is between 8:30-10:30 min/mile (5:15-6:30 min/km), the Vimazi Z60 gives you better cushioning and more performance. How do we know?

We conducted a Forces in Running Study that looked at the timing, location, and intensity of forces while running at various paces and footstrike patterns. We found that the intensity of forces changes so dramatically between paces that a single midsole foam can't respond correctly to all running speeds. At very fast paces, your shoe’s midsole is likely way too soft given the forces you’re generating. An overly soft midsole reduces efficiency, kind of like running in sand. At slower paces, your shoe’s midsole might be too hard, so you don’t get the proper cushioning. This is why tuning running shoes by pace zone is so important. A pace-tuned shoe gives you the right amount of cushioning and maximum efficiency. (No one likes running in sand!)

We also found that forces differ between the heel/midfoot area and the forefoot. So the heel and forefoot of pace-tuned shoes need to be tuned differently. Since we’ve identified the exact forces generated at each pace—and we make weight range assumptions based on shoe size, gender, and pace—we’re able to tune the density of our proprietary EVA blended midsole foam accordingly. This allows us to dial in both optimized cushioning and maximized propulsion for every runner. We’re democratizing performance by personalizing shoes by pace zone.