A friend just sent me the following post by Asics head of research Simon Bartold that recently appeared on a Podiatry Arena thread:
Well Dr. Kirby, A big thank you! Here was I thinking I was the only one fighting a rearguard battle to bring scientific debate to this nonsense!First we had to deal with barefoot, and now the so called Minimalist running debate. It just gets sooo frustrating.What I find fascinating however is that Joe Hammil was intimately involved in the NB minimalist project. A little bit of a pity they did not do this research BEFORE they designed the shoe.
We (ASICS) are now working on a training shoe that is less structure and lightweight, but still offering stability and holding true to a rearfoot srike pattern design. I have based this on the premise that, no matter what is being said about technical running footwear, there is no evidence that it really 'aint broken, so we will tweak, but no need to fix. The minimalist movement works on the premise that by reducing heel height, i.e. the overall gradient,by maybe 6 mm, it induces a midfoot or even forefoot strike pattern. I have ot been able to identify one single piece of credible evidence to support this.. so.. we will stick to our guns.Once more the ether is thick with unsupportable nonsense.. pose, chi, toning barefoot, minimalist....when will it end?
My friend then shrewdly commented to me, "Asics have really dug in their 'heels!"' In Zero Drop's humble opinion, Asics research head honcho sounds like one of those very-much-in-the-minority anti-climate change "scientists" who tries to refute global warming data, or a paid tobacco lobbyist who maintains that's there's no proof that smoking causes cancer. In the fast-shifting footwear biz, you either lead from the front or you stay back in the rear; Asics is obviously hanging out in the rear in more ways than one.