Non-Newtonian cushioning for runners

Brooks Glycerin8 with Brooks DNA cushioning

It is impressive how much scientific research is going on out there just to support our active lifestyles. I had to do a physics 101 review to fully understand the newest technology in running shoe cushioning. Brooks DNA, a new cushioning system introduced this month is made up of a non-Newtonian liquid. What exactly is a non-Newtonian liquid?

Remember Newtons third law, To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions”.

Brooks DNA is a highly viscous liquid and when force is applied to it, it reacts  much different than a typical liquid. Located in the forefoot and rearfoot of the running shoe, Brooks DNA adapts to the force applied to it, instead of applying an equal and opposite force. 

This demo video by Brooks features a great explanation and cool demo of non-newtonian fluid.

What does this mean for runners?

According to Brooks, DNA functions at the molecular level acting like ‘millions of resilient  nanosprings’ that function relative to the force applied to them. Since force is a product of mass and acceleration, the cushion functions at any given moment depending on the runners weight, pace, gait (pattern of limb movement) and even the running environment.

Runners of all sizes and skill levels will experience on-demand adaptability with softer cushioning during walking, and a firmer cushion for greater stability during running. Brooks claims runners will experience 30% better cushioning than standard gel or EVA material (foam/rubber-like substance), as well as enhanced forefoot flexibility.

Brooks DNA cushioning system can be found in Brooks Glycerin8 (shown above) just launched Jan 1st, 2010.

I really like the look of this shoe and look forward to hearing reviews from users.

Image: Courtesy of Brooks

Talkback Questions

Have you tried running in Brooks Glycerin 8’s with Brooks DNA?

What is your favorite running shoe brand/model?

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