In the world of biomechanics, Dr. Benno Nigg needs no introduction. Originally from Switzerland, he completed his PhD at the renowned ETH Zurich in 1975 before becoming Director of the same university’s Biomechanics Laboratory. In 1981, he accepted an invitation to found the Human Performance Laboratory at the University of Calgary in Canada, which has been the home for his award-winning research ever since.
The inescapable topic in the world of performance running and racing right now is the point at which the advantage provided by running shoe technology becomes unfair. Recently, this led to a revision of the rules governing competition shoes for elite athletes.
“Previously there was only rule that you cannot have an unfair advantage – by putting a spring in the shoe, for example.” Benno explained.
“I think we also needed the rules relating to the height and structure of the material in the heel. Because it was getting to the point where things could get crazy – we’re starting to see heel technology that is like a spring. There should be a functional reason for the technology that is there and we’re starting to see shoes where there is no functional reason for some of that technology."