Kicksology: The Hype, Science, Culture & Cool of Running Shoes

Kicksology: The Hype, Science, Culture & Cool of Running Shoes

by Brian Metzler


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Kicksology is your all-access pass into the fascinating, colorful world of running shoes—and what makes up a perfect pair of kicks.

Sports journalist and veteran shoe tester Brian Metzler takes runners and kicksologists deep inside the $10 billion dollar running shoe industry with a behind-the-curtain look at what makes iconic running shoe brands tick. Kicksology follows a shoe from inspiration to store shelf to show how innovative ideas evolve into industry-wide trends and fads. Metzler tours shoe labs where scientists advance our understanding of shoes and running mechanics as well as the domestic and overseas shoe factories where the world’s favorite kicks are assembled.

A dedicated shoe nerd and running junkie, Metzler shares his love of great shoes in this fascinating look at the intersections of shoe culture and history, science and storytelling, intel from the innovators with on-the-ground insight from top runners.

Kicksology is filled with information as entertaining as it is surprising, tapping into the passion runners have for their kicks and feeding their curiosity about what makes a great shoe.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937715915
Publisher: VeloPress
Publication date: 10/15/2019
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 456,196
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Brian Metzler is a freelance journalist who covers running, running gear, and related sports.

A running shoe geek since his prepubescent cross-country team days, Metzler has run more than 75,000 miles in his life, tested more than 1,500 pairs of running shoes, run focus groups for several running shoe brands, raced every distance from 50 yards to 100 miles, raced to the top of the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, run a marathon on top of the Great Wall of China, completed two high-altitude 100-mile ultraruns, completed four Ironman triathlons, and regularly races with donkeys in Colorado.

Metzler was the founding editor and associate publisher of Trail Runner and Adventure Sports magazines and was a senior editor at Running Times as well as Editor-in-Chief of Competitor magazine and He has written about endurance sports for Outside, Runner’s World, Triathlete, Inside Triathlon, Men’s Health, and Men’s Journal. He is the author of Running Colorado’s Front Range and co-author of Natural Running with Danny Abshire and Run Like a Champion with Alan Culpepper.

Table of Contents

Preface v

1 There's Ho Biz Like Shoe Biz 1

My Favorite Shoe Deena Kastor

2 Kickin' It Old-School 21

Six Patents That Changed Running Shoe Design

3 Running Shoe Cool 45

My Favorite Shoe Kara Goucher

4 Doing What Comes Naturally 65

5 It's All Fun and Games Until Somebody Gets Hurt 89

My Favorite Shoe Dave McGillivray

6 Minimalism to Maximalism: A Tale of Two Innovators 113

My Favorite Shoe Karl "Speedgoat" Meltzer 113

7 A Shoe Is Born 143

My Favorite Shoe Scott Jurek

8 The Sub-2-Hour Marathon Quest and the Rise of Magic Shoes 169

Eight Epic Shoe Fails

9 Made to Order 201

My Favorite Shoe Jenny Simpson

10 What's Next? 219

Appendix A Getting the Most out of Your Running Shoes 233

Appendix B Donate Your Old Running Shoes 237

Acknowledgments 241

Index 243

About the Author 249

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