Kicksology Book Review

Did you ever wonder about what makes one sneaker better than another? This new book, Kicksology – The Hype, Science, Culture & Cool of Running Shoes, by Brian Metzler, is all about sneakers!

The reader will learn the history of the sneaker. You will also understand trends and how and why various trends came and went. The author also discusses different innovations and fads that focused on injury prevention.

6 patents that changed running shoe design

There were several sidebars throughout the book that I found fascinating. One of them was the 6 patents that changed running shoe design, which includes: Nike’s waffle outsole; Nike’s air sole cushioning, Nike’s Airmax for stabilizing midsole design; Asics pronation plugs; decoupled outsoles; and the Vibram FiveFingers. Kicksology gives an in-depth look at each.


One of the topics I found particularly fascinating was when the author interviewed Reed Farber, Ph.D. of the Running Injury Clinic at the University of Calgary. Farber said many people say “they get injuries from their shoes, but in fact, the shoes don’t do anything.”

In addition to Farber, there were lots of interesting discussions and sidebars. There was even a sidebar on eight epic shoe fails.

At the end of the book, there was an Appendix A on “Getting the most out of your running shoes.” Here are the tips which I thought useful for this blog:

  • get the right size
  • get the right shape for your foot
  • understand your gait
  • constantly work on your form and strength no matter if you are a beginner or experienced runner
  • the heel drop on shoe matter
  • don’t run in the same pair of shoes daily, use different shoes
  • only wear running shoes for running
  • untie and retie your shoes
  • care for your sneakers
  • and finally, when they are retired, let them go. Most shoes only last between 300 and 500 miles.

My thoughts…

I really enjoyed reading Kicksology because it was different than any of the other sportsbooks that I have read. This focuses on one thing…the sneaker. It was both interesting and intriguing, especially if you are a running nerd like I am. It’s not a fast read. But, take your time and enjoy the journey.

The book is published by Velopress and retails for $18.95.