Athletic shoes have advanced much over the years

Bryan Melara

From cars to computers to mobile phones and even sneakers and sports equipment, everything in this era is better due to brilliant and amazing innovations in technology.
Scientific engineering isn’t only essential in making the electronic gadgets we use everyday, it is becoming imperative when designing athletic footwear and equipment.
In the early days of the National Basketball Association the shoe of choice was the Converse All-Star Chuck Taylor.
The All-Stars do not compare to any of the newer shoes basketball players use now-a-day, don’t even come close in comfort let alone design.
With all the different brands, the wide variety of shoes that can help your game on the court is infinite.
Two of the most intriguing basketball shoes on the market now are Kobe Bryant’s Nike Zoom Kobe V and LeBron James’ Nike Air Max LeBron VII.
The Zoom Kobe V is a light shoe that features a soccer inspired molded heel which keep’s feet from sliding. In addition, the zoom bags in the heel provide extra cushion for landing.
When the Zoom Kobe V were first released, there was speculation that the low top would give players less ankle support and increase the chances of ankle injuries.
However, according to Pierce basketball forward Malcolm Collins, who has worn the Zoom Kobe V while playing, the low top actually gives more range and mobility.
“You can pivot anyway, you don’t feel any restrictions at all,” Collins said. “They look like they have less ankle support, but it’s actually a pretty snug shoe.”
The Air Max LeBron VII are higher and have a softer more flexible interior for an increased comfortable fit.
Collins who has also played in the Air Max LeBron VII, feels they are heavier and designed more for big men.
Pierce men’s basketball, center Terran Carter, played in the Zoom Kobe V last season and although he hasn’t tried the Air Max LeBron VII, Carter said he was fond of the shoe and would be open to giving them a try.
Women’s basketball  point guard Tessondra Williams has tried the LeBron VII as well as many other sneakers, but to her, no sneaker comes close to the Zoom Kobe V.
“I love the Kobe’s,” said Williams. “They feel like I’m wearing no shoes. I jump higher, feel like I move faster, I just feel like Kobe.”
Williams also likes the LeBron VII, but wouldn’t wear them on the court due to a twisted ankle she suffered while practicing in the shoe last season.
As ankle and lower body injuries continue to be a concern in basketball, concussions have always been a massive concern in football.
Thousands of concussions occur in football every year, from high school to college to the pros.
Some even go unnoticed.
According to an article by the University of Pittsburgh, 34 percent of college football players have had at least one concussion. Twenty percent multiple concussions.
Nine of the 10 Pierce football players interviewed, stated that many football helmets lack padding and are very wobbly, which can be a recipe for disaster.
Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center found that players who wear the Riddell Revolution helmet are 31 percent less likely to suffer a concussion.
The extra padding and inflatable liner which secure the fit to the player’s head all contribute to the 31 percent reduction of concussion.
“It’s a really good thing to use,” said Pierce football wide receiver Omar Chin, 19. “Especially because a lot of players lead with their heads to try to get the big hit now a days.”
The Revolution IQ and Revolution Speed include a cutting edge feature called the Head Impact Telemetry System or HITS.
HITS electronically records every impact, which allows players to upload and assess every occurrence on their computer.
“I think it’ll lessen injuries to know where most of the impact is coming from,” said Pierce football safety Isiah Vaughn.
Vaughn has used an older model of the Revolution before, and described how exceptional the Revolution fits.
“It fits perfectly, and also lessens your headaches,” said Vaughn.
“It’s something I would be interested in getting,” said Pierce running back Brandon Mack, 18, who has worn the Schutt DNA since 10th grade.
With all these great innovations, the Revolution will only keep getting better with each new model that is released.
The helmet game gets even more serious now, that Riddel is taking main competitor Schutt  Sports to court for patent infrigements.
The goal of protection for football helmets is the same for baseball helmets.
During the 2009 season, New York Mets third baseman David Wright suffered a concussion after taking a pitch off the brim of his batting helmet.
Shortly after the injury Rawlings introduced the S100 Batting Helmet.
According to Rawlings and an independent testing organization the S100 helmet can withstand the impact of a 100-mph fastball.
The S100 also has four independent layers of protection as well as composite inserts which provide additional durability in critical ball impact locations.
“If it’s going to protect the kids, I’m all for it,” said Pierce head baseball coach John Bushart. “I think all the equipment is going to keep getting better and better.”
Science and technology in sports should continue to play a big role and only get better in preventing injuries, with all the research that is done daily.

The Zoom Kobe V is the most innovative shoe in the baskeball world right now (David Schub / Roundup )