Nanotechnology in Sports and Running Shoes
Running shoes are designed to absorb energy, to make them comfortable
and protect your feet. To do this they have to be soft and squishy, but
if you walked on a soft material it would flatten out, getting deader
and deader as you went through the day.
To stop this, we need to add hard bits to the formulation.
prevent the shape squishing too far, and allow it to rebound after each
step. As a result, the running shoe stays in shape. The nanotechnology
comes in because the soft and the hard bits we use are the size of
The core of the running shoe is a polymer foam, blown by a gas
generated when the polymer is made. In a simple polymer for running
shoes, two different types of molecule - of different sizes and
stiffness - might be used. Combining them in the correct ratio gives a
sole that absorbs energy and recovers it's shape, after it has been