In the belief that all the bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments in our feet are built for running, shoe company ECCO set out to create a shoe that optimizes every muscle and nerve in the feet. Putting function over form, the company focused on creating a minimalist shoe that would benefit runners.
ECCO scanned the feet of 2,500 elite runners to construct a prototype that lets the feet move as naturally as possible, then submitted it to a testing lab run by Dr. Peter Brüggemenn, a leader in the field of running biomechanics at the renowned Sports Institute in Cologne, Germany.
Brüggemenn's lab found that runners wearing ECCO's prototype took advantage of the natural propensity of their feet to absorb impact in the forefoot and midsole, as opposed to the heel, where conventional motion-controlled, cushioned shoes typically hit the ground.
ECCO named their new natural motion shoe BIOM Run and launched a line in 2009. They have since created a second generation, offering more styles, colors and sport variety [check out the full lineup at eccousa.com].
Following the success of the BIOM RUN series, ECCO applied the technologies and principles of natural motion to other areas of production. Most of their shoes come in both textile or mesh, but they also uniquely use yak leather, which provides a snug, protective fit but is surprisingly breathable, making it a great material in both wet weather and hot weather.
Below are a few of the latest ECCO models:
BIOM Train: A versatile crossover, this shoe is appropriate for training in the gym. The structure of the shoe can be twisted and flexed, so feet move freely within it. Both men's and women's models are available.
BIOM C with Gore-Tex: Available in men's only, this running shoe serves as a hybrid trail shoe, with Gore-Tex technology to guard against elements from ground and sky. It will be released July 1.
BIOM Golf: Known for its superb golf footwear, ECCO created BIOM golf shoes, which work well for athletic players who like low-to-the-ground or minimalist shoes for running and training. This shoe is currently available.
For more information on ECCO's BIOM line, visit their website.
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