platform shoes?

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platform shoes?

Postby left coaster » February 2nd, 2017, 5:02 pm

This is more of a technical question rather than something I am seriously considering.

I have been using zero rise 'barefoot' runners on the erg since I started. It occurred to me this morning that I may be able to extend my drive by an inch or so by wearing more traditional shoes, such as a stiff 'cross trainer' that have some rise in the heal.

Then, being who I am, I explored this idea in my mind a bit further. What if I found some shoes with a 2" or even a 3" rise, would they extend my drive even further? Then, what if I found myself some platform shoes from the 70's (you know, like what KISS used to wear) with a 6" rise, would this extend my drive by 6" and make me even faster?

I'm strong, but not overly tall -- I'm pretty sure I could make good use of any additional length granted to my lower leg and that my quads could easily handle it.

Then of course I thought, why doesn't that foot rest have a pivot in it -- that way I could get some 6" platform shoes and strap them down in such a manner that I don't need to lift my heels at the catch.

Further wondering led me to ask if there is any regulation in erg competition that limits the amount of heel rise someone can have in their shoes.... !?!?

Anyway, I used some cross trainers and seemed to be a few seconds faster. When combined with my fresh seat rollers that I recently replaced I almost felt quick lol.
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

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Re: platform shoes?

Postby GJS » February 2nd, 2017, 5:31 pm

Hate to burst your whimsical bubble but I don't think platforms would extend your drive at all :!:

Assume 6 inch platforms: the entire stroke cycle would simply shift six inches further back along the rail; your hands at catch would be six inches further back from the cage.

Think that's right. Bit annoying having all these tall blighters around though, I must concede. In fact, I would like it to be known that I'm actually 5' 10.5" and not the full 5' 11" stated in my sig. (Also a little north of 200lbs too, but that's another matter :oops: )
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby Anth_F » February 2nd, 2017, 6:20 pm

I'm 5'10 normally, but 5'11 and a half on the rower :wink: I wear lifts in the Nike trainers because it takes away stress from my ankles and it's a much more comfortable row for me :) I doubt it makes me any faster though.
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby left coaster » February 2nd, 2017, 7:01 pm

GJS -- I'm not sure what you are saying is accurate.

if I go up on my toes in the catch and aim to get my shins parallel having a couple extra inches between my heel and the rest will actually lengthen my drive. I may not realize all of the platform lift, but a good portion of it. It would be even more if the footrest had a pivot :?

Perhaps a full platform isn't the best idea from a geometrical perspective -- possibly a high heel with a very low toe?? Or a shoe that has a strong roll forward through the midfoot and a high heel --- like some of those old aerobic shoes from the 90's or some of the 'walkersize' weird things I see around sometimes.

ANTH -- have you tried rowing with zero lift shoes as a comparison? I have a sneaking suspicion you may find it slightly more difficult.
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

"The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer"

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Started rowing September 2015
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby Anth_F » February 2nd, 2017, 8:18 pm

When i first began rowing proper workouts my ankles used to suffer a lot!!!! I have suffered with bad ankles for some years, though rowing has cured most of it now thank goodness. Anyway, i used to row with flat soled shoes, and it used to hurt my ankles because of the fairly steep angle of the foot plate... so thats why i added in the lifts, to see if that would help, and it did so i stuck with it.

It never even crossed my mind about going back to flat soled shoes!! Maybe i would find it slightly harder, possibly.
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby GJS » February 2nd, 2017, 8:21 pm

:D

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A classic platform. Minimal difference in the height of the platform between the heel and the toe. Picture it as a block of wood 6 inches deep. Now, it makes no difference at all whether that block is to stuck to your foot or stuck to the footplate, and it being stuck to the footplate would be no different than C2 having decided to set the footplate 6 inches further back from the cage than it is now.

Do you think your drive would be longer if C2 had chosen to place the footplate six inches further back from the cage?

You may get your shins vertical, but they are vertical six inches further back the rail than previously.

(Thinking about it, given the angle of the footplate, you likely shift the whole thing back 7/8 inches)

A slightly higher heel than toe would minimise heel lift at the catch - if that's a concern but likely shouldn't be - but a very large discrepancy will really, really pervert mechanics.

For the love of God, I really hopes someone else chimes in to put us out of our misery. :lol:
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby left coaster » February 3rd, 2017, 1:00 am

Now all they need to do is make that dress code mandatory a the Crash-B's and we're set!! :D

Thanks for entertaining me -- but I still think that a raised heal with a shoe will provide an additional inch, possibly more, to overall drive length. Considering some recommend a hook grip on the handle to gain an inch, if one can be had with choice of footwear, then... lol My drive tends to feel really short, I have shorter arms and legs -- every inch matters :wink: as the saying goes.
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

"The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer"

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Started rowing September 2015
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby GJS » February 3rd, 2017, 5:28 am

And all this from a chap who is, I now notice, 6' 1".
Oh to have the problems of others!

Another approach you might consider would be to make a height adjustment calculator. Call it an Anthropometric Adjustment Calculator to better represent its unimpeachable, scientific credentials.

To popularise its use jump in on any thread in which some giant is receiving applause for his latest 2k PR and gently remind him that, adjusted for height, his 6.20 is actually a 6.45.

In very short order you will become a hero to stumpy folk and a trusted counsellor to giants since every man yearns to know the true value of his efforts.
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby Anth_F » February 3rd, 2017, 7:46 am

Might stick some 1ft blocks on my feet... should be able to r18's no problemo then.
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby Ombrax » February 4th, 2017, 10:53 pm

LC - try it, I bet you'll find very little difference, if any in your times.
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby left coaster » February 7th, 2017, 5:31 pm

I have tried it, just low key though -- didn't go out and build a new foot rest for the machine or anything :lol:

On a sprint, I can't tell the difference at all. I expect this is because my stroke is already shortened and my high rate is what is actually making me go faster.

On a 5K it seemed noticeable, about 20 seconds faster on what felt like a similar perceived effort (20:23 vs. 20:45). n=1, poor experimental control, purely subjective -- but interesting for lil ole me.

During my little experiment I simply used the highest heal lift shoes on hand, which turned out to be a pair of hiking shoes. The approach could be further refined easily enough, key in hikers seems to be ensuring I'm far forward enough in the catch and up on my toes to ensure I'm not just being pushed back the distance of the sole height as others have mentioned. Then, rolling back onto the higher heal and pushing for full extension -- my drive actually feels a bit longer, although I do concede that I may be totally b*tsh*t crazy.
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

"The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer"

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Started rowing September 2015
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby G-dub » February 15th, 2017, 7:32 pm

Now, if one had 6" platforms AND hooks that attached to the wrist and extended 6" past the end of your grip then we might have something. It would be nice though if there was some reasonable height adjustment calculation to enetertain us shorties.
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby left coaster » June 7th, 2017, 6:02 pm

Like usual, I've continued to think about this initially ridiculous idea and explore why I've been feeling like it may be necessary.

Enter a short written opinion by Sam Loch on the Concept 2 site about foot position: http://www.concept2.com/news/foot-position-primer

If I take his expert opinion on foot position seriously then I have always been rowing with a foot position that is too low. I have a long upper body relative to my arm and leg length and my knees have never been anywhere near my armpits on the catch. Easy enough to fix, so I've experimented some higher positions.

It's currently a toss up between notch 2 or 3 for me.. Ya, really high! That said, I have the experience of my drive being longer, which is a positive thing. I also find the higher foot position forces me into a better posture in the catch in a way that makes errors to this position much more obvious to me. On a higher drag setting it is obvious that I'm putting power into the chain for a longer duration on each stroke -- excellent!

I did some hard intervals in position 2 yesterday and have some different types of muscle soreness (the good kind) in my upper back today. So, I'm going to conclude that the foot position change is also forcing me to recruit different muscles. My knees still don't quite get up to my armpits, and to be honest I don't know if this is anatomically possible for me, but they're close! :D
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

"The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer"

6'1", 235, 45yrs, male
Started rowing September 2015
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Posts: 369
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Re: platform shoes?

Postby left coaster » June 15th, 2017, 2:33 pm

Yup, it's settled -- new foot position is on hole #2. Still adjusting to it but coming to feel quite strong in the position. After some time I'll revisit all my sprints from this position and may even move up to hole #1 at some point. Did a session in hole #3 and my position felt immediately slack -- all very interesting!
100m: 15.5, 1Min: 353, 500m: 1:29, 5K: 19:41.2, 10K: 40:46

"The difficult is what takes a little time; the impossible is what takes a little longer"

6'1", 235, 45yrs, male
Started rowing September 2015
left coaster
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Posts: 369
Joined: September 24th, 2015, 12:43 pm
Location: BC, Canada

Re: platform shoes?

Postby G-dub » June 19th, 2017, 10:59 am

The other day I put a stability cushion on the seat to see if it required me to use my core for stability. Anyway, what was interesting was I could touch the chain guard at the catch, so it added a couple of inches to my length. When I don't have the cushion on, I cannot touch the chain guard. One thing to note: shoe specs make a big difference. With the shoes I wear I have no holes showing and I wish I could go even lower.
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