Aeriosa, a small Vancouver-based dance company is not studio-bound. Julia Taffe and her group of dancers use mountaineering skills and climbing hardware to work with gravity, rather than against it. No pointe shoes, no skirts of tulle and feathers. Instead, they have carabiners, pulleys, mechanical braking systems, climbing harnesses, rope and running shoes.
With gravity as a partner, the company creates vertical dance – awe-inspiring spectacles on the sides of buildings, or on sheer cliffs of rock; performances that are strange, disconcerting and breathtaking at the same time.
1. A Brief History of Sneaker Brands
Check out the link for a gallery of thirteen great pictures. Here’s a cheat sheet:
- 1916 – U.S. Rubber, Keds, original sneaker
- 1917 – Converse Rubber Shoe Company, All Star, high-top basketball shoes
- 1920 – ‘Adi’ Dassler, shoemaker for Jesse Owens (1936); founds Adidas (1948)
- 1937 – PF Flyers (for Posture Foundation), distributes weight evenly
- 1958 – Reebok is founded
- 1960 – New Balance, the Trackster, in multiple widths
- 1970 (circa) – Nike co-founder creates treads with kitchen waffle iron
- 1991 – Reebok, the Pump, custom cushioning
- 2004 – Nike, the Free, original minimal shoe
- 2005 – Vibram, the FiveFingers, sections for each toe
- 2006 – Nike, the Air Max 360, foamless midsole
- 2006 – Nike, the Air Zoom, ‘talks’ to Apple’s iPod nano
- 2011 – Brooks, the PureProject, for a natural stride.
Article by Dave McGinn, The Globe and Mail, May 12, 2012.
2. He Says “Sneakers” and… She Says “Tennis Shoes”
Josh Katz, graphics editor at the New York Times and PhD student – http://www4.ncsu.edu/~jakatz2/ did an online questionnaire on specific word choices across the USA. This map shows the concentration of the use of “sneakers” as a vocabulary item.
Source for map:
and more about this study:
This week’s blog will explore how sneakers have a wedge position in the sub-cultures of fashion and athletics. Are we quietly trading our rubber soles, by another name?
Can a marathon runner from Kansas City train like a Kenyan?
Here are some tips for that cultural transition:
- Do extra slow warm ups
- Do extra slow cool downs
- Do extra slow recovery runs
Diet and Rest
- Eat local fresh food
- Sleep 10 hours per night
- Nap 1-2 hours per day
- Spend lots of time off-feet
Live Simply with No Distraction
- No TV, internet, cell phones or technology
- Read or go for walks
- De-clutter your mind
Train in Tough Conditions
- Run on soft ground for strength, flexibility and efficiency
- Overdress in extra layers of under clothes, also wear baggy clothes and heavier shoes
- Believe you can win and a break world record
- Don’t limit yourself; dream big
- Don’t complain about life or a workout
- Listen to your body, back off if you are tired or something hurts
- Otherwise work hard, increase intensity or duration to point of exhaustion
- Practice block training: build up for 3-4 months, then completely rest for 2-6 weeks before starting next block
- Train in groups – ‘iron sharpens iron’
- Do lots of lower leg drills and stretching with little to no upper body, do some basic core work
- Add uphill running drill with resistance band 1-2 times a week.
- Take Sunday off for studying the Bible, going to church and completely rest
- Run up hills and stride back down
- Do tempo runs: conservative start, pick up pace to finish at fast pace
- Do ‘Fartlek runs’ (Swedish for ‘speed play’) http://runners-resource.com/training/fartlek/
- Do interval workouts, adding repeats
- Do periodic long runs at a progressive marathon pace
- Do two runs per day with a recovery run
Kenyan’s Stance on Shoes
- They go barefoot by necessity, not by choice.
- Those in Kenya will wear ANY pair of shoes without complaining, preferring shoes to going barefoot.
- Those who have run outside Kenya prefer a simple, lightweight trainer given their well-developed feet.
For more details, read: http://www.runnersedgekc.com/pdf/how_to_train_like_the_kenyans.pdf