Author Topic: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro  (Read 30507 times)

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Offline Gerk

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The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« on: Thu, 04 December 2014, 11:13:41 »
So I wonder if we'll see these units ship in December like the site says (I think it used to say August at one point)?

I just pulled the trigger on one so I'm hoping to see it.  I'm finally starting to wear out one of my Goldtouch v2's and want a replacement so figured why not ...

I also have a nice laser engraver at work now, I'm going to have to try and play with etching some keycaps soon!
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro x 2 | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (browns) | Kinesis Freestyle Edge (reds)

Offline pnutster

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #1 on: Sat, 06 December 2014, 15:14:16 »
Was on the Matias site today and unfortunately the waiting game just got a bit longer:

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Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #2 on: Sat, 06 December 2014, 19:26:42 »
Very sorry for the extra wait.  A few little things still left to fix, but it's looking very good, as you can see...

         https://geekhack.org/?topic=53184.msg1554823#msg1554823



Offline Gerk

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #4 on: Sun, 07 December 2014, 08:40:34 »
I suspect it will be worth the wait (not like that whole first Teck experience)!
Rosewill RK-9000RE (reds) | Das Keyboard Model S Professional Silent (browns) | Leopold TKL (browns) | F21-7D "Mechanical Keyboard" (Blue Alps) | Filco Majestouch TKL (blues) | Goldtouch V2 x 2 | Matias Ergo Pro x 2 | Kinesis Freestyle Pro (browns) | Kinesis Freestyle Edge (reds)

Offline daerid

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #5 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 00:40:06 »
I love you guys, but you seriously messed up when you placed that 6 key :(

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #6 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 00:57:18 »
I love you guys, but you seriously messed up when you placed that 6 key :(

Actually, we got it right.  Microsoft (and others) screwed it up and their mistake propagated.  Here and elsewhere you can see the standard finger placement...


Source:  http://www.typing-lessons.org/preliminaries_4.html


Wikipedia agrees...

         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing

« Last Edit: Wed, 17 December 2014, 00:59:42 by Matias »

Offline smknjoe

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #7 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 00:59:18 »
The 6 key is exactly where it should be. It's the first split board to get it right.
I love you guys, but you seriously messed up when you placed that 6 key :(

Actually, we got it right.  Microsoft (and others screwed it up) and their mistake propogated.  Here and elsewhere you can see the standard finger placement...

Show Image


Source:  http://www.typing-lessons.org/preliminaries_4.html

Wikipedia agrees...

         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing



You beat me too it. I'm really impressed that you guys finally got the split keyboard right.
SSKs for everyone!

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #8 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 01:05:07 »
The 6 key is exactly where it should be. It's the first split board to get it right.

You beat me too it. I'm really impressed that you guys finally got the split keyboard right.

Thanks.  :)

I suspect that Microsoft also knows it's wrong, but now they're stuck with it...


Offline smknjoe

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #9 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 01:05:34 »
Now, if you offer one with blank PBT - I'm in.
SSKs for everyone!

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #10 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 01:21:34 »
Now, if you offer one with blank PBT - I'm in.


Need to finish the rest of our PBT tooling first...  :-)


Offline nomaded

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #11 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 20:26:48 »
The 6 key is exactly where it should be. It's the first split board to get it right.

I would argue that this is NOT the first split keyboard to place the 6 key on the right side. But I definitely agree that Microsoft screwed it up.
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #12 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 20:49:37 »
This quote is from a Deskthority thread on the subject:

roncri wrote:
Really interested in this keyboard but starting to worry about it actually ever being available. Wasn't the original release date supposed to be August, and then December and now I see it's been pushed out again till February. Sorta glad I didn't place a pre-order.

Matias wrote:
It was a much bigger project than we expected, so it's taking longer than expected, but if you're concerned that the delay is some sort of indicator that it won't ship, it's quite the opposite -- we've invested so much time and money in this product, there's no way we could *not* ship it.  :-)


http://deskthority.net/product-news-f44/matias-ergo-pro-keyboard-ergoexpo-2014-t9347.html
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Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #13 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 20:55:49 »
The 6 key is exactly where it should be. It's the first split board to get it right.
I suspect that Microsoft also knows it's wrong, but now they're stuck with it...
Considering the 6 key on a standard ANSI/QWERTY/IBM board is located closer to "F" than to "J", it’s a stretch to claim that putting it on the right hand is unambiguously “right”. I know I typically use my left hand to hit that key, and I’d guess that the typists in general are roughly split on which hand to use.

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #14 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 21:44:56 »
Considering the 6 key on a standard ANSI/QWERTY/IBM board is located closer to "F" than to "J", it's a stretch to claim that putting it on the right hand is unambiguously "right". I know I typically use my left hand to hit that key, and I'd guess that the typists in general are roughly split on which hand to use.


Well, it's not *that* much closer -- only one 1/4-key-width-ish.

In my book, muscle memory trumps a 1/4-width.

Borrowing your logic and extending it further... since the B key is in the exact centre of the keyboard, you could (similarly) argue that it doesn't matter which hand you use to type it -- it's equal distance from F and J.

In fact, I've met people who type B with their right hand.

I think we'd have gotten screams of protest if we'd put B on the right side.

Amusing trivia...  We'd considered have two B keys on the keyboard (one on each side) to accommodate the outliers.  :)


Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #15 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 22:02:16 »
Considering the 6 key on a standard ANSI/QWERTY/IBM board is located closer to “F” than to “J”, it's a stretch to claim that putting it on the right hand is unambiguously “right”. I know I typically use my left hand to hit that key, and I'd guess that the typists in general are roughly split on which hand to use.
In my book, muscle memory trumps a 1/4-width. Borrowing your logic and extending it further... since the B key is in the exact centre of the keyboard, you could (similarly) argue that it doesn't matter which hand you use to type it -- it's equal distance from F and J.  In fact, I've met people who type B with their right hand. I think we'd have gotten screams of protest if we'd put B on the right side.
Whose “muscle memory” are we designing for?  When you say “muscle memory trumps a 1/4 width”, my response would be: youch, you broke my muscle memory.

Did you do a survey to figure out which hand people typically use for the “6” key? My guess just based on my observations of people typing is that usage is roughly 50/50 on the 6 key vs. at least 80-90% who use the left hand for the 'B' key. But I’m just making those numbers up. I’d be very curious to see the break-down on some large sample of typists.

Anyway, I don’t personally think it matters all that much. The 6 is in a uniquely terrible place on the keyboard regardless of which hand is used to type it, and I’m sure people can get used to pressing it on either side on a split keyboard. (Some comments from video game players earlier suggested that not having access to the 6 key might make the left side of a split keyboard impractical for particular games, but I wouldn’t know.)
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 December 2014, 22:05:01 by jacobolus »

Offline SonOfSonOfSpock

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #16 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 23:36:21 »
Not sure I get the incredible importance of the 6 key, but I much prefer Matias' placement of things I press about, oh, 600 times more often, like Alt. It's much easier to hit with your thumbs since it is moved closer to the center than typical keyboards.

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #17 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 23:42:23 »
Considering the 6 key on a standard ANSI/QWERTY/IBM board is located closer to "F" than to "J", it's a stretch to claim that putting it on the right hand is unambiguously "right". I know I typically use my left hand to hit that key, and I'd guess that the typists in general are roughly split on which hand to use.

In my book, muscle memory trumps a 1/4-width. Borrowing your logic and extending it further... since the B key is in the exact centre of the keyboard, you could (similarly) argue that it doesn't matter which hand you use to type it -- it's equal distance from F and J.  In fact, I've met people who type B with their right hand. I think we'd have gotten screams of protest if we'd put B on the right side.

Whose "muscle memory" are we designing for?  When you say "muscle memory trumps a 1/4 width", my response would be: youch, you broke my muscle memory.


Microsoft broke my muscle memory first.  :)

If they'd gotten it right in the first place, there'd be no conflict now. 



Did you do a survey to figure out which hand people typically use for the "6" key? My guess just based on my observations of people typing is that usage is roughly 50/50 on the 6 key vs. at least 80-90% who use the left hand for the 'B' key. But I'm just making those numbers up. I'd be very curious to see the break-down on some large sample of typists.

We didn't do a survey.  Instead, we chose to follow the standard (already referenced).



Anyway, I don't personally think it matters all that much ... I'm sure people can get used to pressing it on either side on a split keyboard.

I agree.

I think "new" users coming from non-ergonomic keyboards will appreciate our design choice.  It doesn't break the muscle memory they learned in school or from typing tutorial software.

Users coming from ergonomic keyboards that were designed wrong (unfortunately) will have to adapt.  Of course, many of those keyboards had number pads, so they may not have used the 6 key in the top row very much.



Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #18 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 23:48:57 »
I think "new" users coming from non-ergonomic keyboards will appreciate our design choice.  It doesn't break the muscle memory they learned in school or from typing tutorial software.
Again, my guess is this is somewhere between 40:60 and 60:40. About half are going to appreciate the choice, and the other half will be annoyed. Just like with the Microsoft version, only switched halves. (Knowing Microsoft, it’s plausible they did a survey and more than half used the left hand for 6.)
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 December 2014, 23:51:16 by jacobolus »

Offline daerid

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #19 on: Wed, 17 December 2014, 23:51:47 »
I think "new" users coming from non-ergonomic keyboards will appreciate our design choice.  It doesn't break the muscle memory they learned in school or from typing tutorial software.

Users coming from ergonomic keyboards that were designed wrong (unfortunately) will have to adapt.  Of course, many of those keyboards had number pads, so they may not have used the 6 key in the top row very much.

Very weird. I learned how to type from a public high school class, and I've always used my left index finger to hit the 6 key.

"Designed wrong" is supremely subjective. The closes we can get are empirical measurements. The 6 key is closer to the left index finger than the right. Logically, it would be easier for most to hit it with the left hand, and it could be argued that it is more ergonomic to use the left hand to press it.

Just because something is "standard", or "that's how it's always been done", doesn't mean it's the best decision. That kind of thinking is why we're still stuck with the horribly non-ergonomic "standard" qwerty layout.
« Last Edit: Wed, 17 December 2014, 23:56:08 by daerid »

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #20 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 00:54:45 »
Very weird. I learned how to type from a public high school class, and I've always used my left index finger to hit the 6 key.

Do you still have your typing textbook?

I'd be interested to know what it teaches.  I've never come across one that has 6 on the left.



"Designed wrong" is supremely subjective.

It's only subjective because Microsoft chose to screw with the widely taught standard.

Incidentally, the ErgoDox also has the 6 key on the right.


Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #21 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 01:08:16 »
Incidentally, the ErgoDox also has the 6 key on the right.
The Ergodox has keys arranged in columns. There’s no obvious assignment of characters to keys for the Ergodox, so it’s entirely unreasonable to say “the Ergodox has the 6 key on the right”.

Anyway, again, I don’t think this is a huge deal, but I also don’t think it’s fair or reasonable to claim that one side or another is the “correct” place for the 6 key.

I’ve definitely seen typing training material that advocates using the left hand for 6.

As one example, see this video, about 10 minutes in:
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 December 2014, 01:11:59 by jacobolus »

Offline SuperBobKing

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #22 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 01:42:44 »
I love you guys, but you seriously messed up when you placed that 6 key :(

Actually, we got it right.  Microsoft (and others) screwed it up and their mistake propagated.  Here and elsewhere you can see the standard finger placement...

Show Image

Source:  http://www.typing-lessons.org/preliminaries_4.html


Wikipedia agrees...

         http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing

That same wikipedia article also says "A method taught since the 1960s (and perhaps earlier): The left little finger is used for the keys 1 2, the ring finger for 3, the middle — 4, the left index finger is responsible for 5 and 6. On the right side of the keyboard: index — 7 and 8, middle — 9, ring — 0 and the little — all other keys on the right side of the upper row". That is how I type with my left hand. My right hand varies depending on the situation. I also type b with my right hand. There is no objectively right way for some keys.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #23 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 01:58:28 »
Wikipedia agrees... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing
FWIW, as far as I can tell Wikipedia provides no sources or other evidence for any of the methods described or diagrams included in that article.

It would be pretty interesting to see historical typing training material though, if anyone knows where to look.

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #24 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 02:36:38 »

I’ve definitely seen typing training material that advocates using the left hand for 6.

As one example, see this video, about 10 minutes in:



I wasn't expecting a source quite that old -- 1944.  :)

Here's a screen cap from the film...


84304-0


I don't think this approach is taught anymore, but I take your point.



That same wikipedia article also says "A method taught since the 1960s (and perhaps earlier): The left little finger is used for the keys 1 2, the ring finger for 3, the middle - 4, the left index finger is responsible for 5 and 6. On the right side of the keyboard: index - 7 and 8, middle - 9, ring - 0 and the little - all other keys on the right side of the upper row". That is how I type with my left hand. My right hand varies depending on the situation. I also type b with my right hand. There is no objectively right way for some keys.


Fair enough, but it's in the "Other methods" section at the very end of the article.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not disputing how you type.  I'm just saying it's not the widely taught way to touch type.  I once knew a concert pianist who typed the way she played piano -- she would cross hands when she felt it was faster, if you can believe it!  It was amazing to watch her do it, but I wouldn't design a keyboard based on her technique.


Wikipedia agrees... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Touch_typing

FWIW, as far as I can tell Wikipedia provides no sources or other evidence for any of the methods described or diagrams included in that article.

It would be pretty interesting to see historical typing training material though, if anyone knows where to look.


That's true, but it is consistent with the typing textbooks I've seen.  It's been a while since I researched this stuff.  We can get a quick & dirty estimate using Google...




While there are a few guides that deviate from the standard approach, the trend is pretty clear.

Again, I'm not disputing anyone's particular technique (whatever works for you) but there is an established standard.  You can choose to follow it or ignore it.  I chose to follow it.  Microsoft ignored it.


« Last Edit: Thu, 18 December 2014, 02:57:23 by Matias »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #25 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 03:09:37 »
That's true, but it is consistent with the typing textbooks I've seen.  It's been a while since I researched this stuff.  We can get a quick & dirty estimate using Google...
When I search for “touch typing” in Google images (this query is a bit more effective than the one you suggested, which quickly devolves into irrelevant images after the first page or so), the first several examples are either on Wikipedia or copies of images that originally came from Wikipedia / Wikimedia commons. After that, there seem to be a bunch of examples each way. A sampling of the ones with 6 on the left hand:




(Again, there is a similar variety of diagrams that put 6 on the right hand.)

Quote
While there are a few guides that deviate from the standard approach, the trend is pretty clear. Again, I'm not disputing anyone's particular technique (whatever works for you) but there is an established standard.  You can choose to follow it or ignore it.  I chose to follow it.  Microsoft ignored it.
To be as generous as I can: you’re greatly exaggerating how “established” this “standard” is.

On the one hand, the original touch typing book from 1889 does put 6 on the right:


On the other hand, here’s a book from 1893:



As for my personal technique.... The way I type on a QWERTY/ANSI/IBM keyboard – and I would strongly advise anyone else to use a similar fingering – is roughly like this:

Typing “Z” with the ring finger, “X” with the middle finger, and “C” with the index finger allows the left wrist to stay straight, with the arm coming toward the keyboard at an angle, and makes it dramatically easier and more comfortable to press all the keys on the left of the bottom row.

But this mainly serves to highlight how terrible the QWERTY/ANSI/IBM layout is. On the upside, it’s ubiquitous. On the downside, almost everything about its design is anachronistic nonsense.

Side note: this is sure a funny method:




* * *

Anyway, sorry to keep dragging this thread further off topic. In general, I think the ErgoPro is great, and I don’t think the “6” placement is a big deal one way or another.
« Last Edit: Thu, 18 December 2014, 04:03:34 by jacobolus »

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #26 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 03:54:00 »
Anyway, sorry to keep dragging this thread further off topic. In general, I think the ErgoPro is great, and I don't think the "6" placement is a big deal one way or another.


Okay, I hearby declare a truce -- and will NOT present my extremely persuasive and logically irrefutable counter-arguments to your post...   :D


Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #27 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 05:33:20 »
I don't know who to believe anymore.
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Offline JackMills

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #28 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 05:48:13 »
In a future iteration of the board, just put a 6 on each side, everybody happy!

Offline hoggy

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #29 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 07:17:16 »
To be fair, if the placement of the 6 is the only thing to complain about (hey, I love a good moan myself), then the keyboard must be pretty good...
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Offline vivalarevolución

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #30 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 07:35:29 »
To be fair, if the placement of the 6 is the only thing to complain about (hey, I love a good moan myself), then the keyboard must be pretty good...

For aesthetic purposes, the 6 on the right of the board looks PHENOMENAL. 
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Offline daerid

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #31 on: Thu, 18 December 2014, 21:17:27 »
Anyway, sorry to keep dragging this thread further off topic. In general, I think the ErgoPro is great, and I don't think the "6" placement is a big deal one way or another.


Okay, I hearby declare a truce -- and will NOT present my extremely persuasive and logically irrefutable counter-arguments to your post...   :D



Signed. Even though hitting the 6 with my right hand feels as bad as trying to write with the wrong hand, I'll probably still end up getting an ErgoPro.

PS: I feel like GeekHack is one of the only places on the internet where we can engage in a spirited debate/discussion/argument and not degenerate into completely idiocy and trolling[1]. I love it here :)


1: Unless of course we're talking about Topre vs MX. No idea why people get so crazy about that one.

Offline pabloedvardo

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #32 on: Tue, 23 December 2014, 20:27:04 »
The biggest downside to the 6 on the right, imo, is for gaming. Same thing with the F keys.

As a gamer I would have loved to have the best of both worlds and gotten to have the 6 on the left and the F1-F6 keys as well (an even split).

As someone who needs ergonomics, I'll adapt. :)

Offline kilgor

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #33 on: Thu, 25 December 2014, 07:23:22 »
Will there be a version with Cherry MX Red some point?

60 Actuation force sounds like a lot on those Matias Quiet Click Switches.


Offline tufty

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #34 on: Fri, 26 December 2014, 02:34:16 »
Given that Matias make their own switches, which are a significantly improved version of the (subjectively) already superior to Cherry switches made by ALPS, it's hardly likely that they'll take a step back to Cherry, is it?

Offline kilgor

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #35 on: Fri, 26 December 2014, 03:49:20 »
Given that Matias make their own switches, which are a significantly improved version of the (subjectively) already superior to Cherry switches made by ALPS, it's hardly likely that they'll take a step back to Cherry, is it?

I didn't express myself correctly. I meant to ask will Matias at some point make their own switches with 45 actuation force?

Offline Matias

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #36 on: Fri, 26 December 2014, 06:49:52 »
Given that Matias make their own switches, which are a significantly improved version of the (subjectively) already superior to Cherry switches made by ALPS, it's hardly likely that they'll take a step back to Cherry, is it?

I didn't express myself correctly. I meant to ask will Matias at some point make their own switches with 45 actuation force?


Thanks for asking...

Currently, there are no plans for any switch other than the Quiet Click switch on the Ergo Pro.

We have a linear switch in production now, that has similar weight characteristics to Cherry Red, but we haven't formally announced it yet, and it's unlikely to make it into the Ergo Pro -- though you could always mod it yourself if you have the skills/time/motivation. :)

I should also add that the Quiet Click switch is not as heavy as you might think.  It's tactile, so the peak force falls rapidly after actuation.

In contrast, Cherry switches are a simple linear spring design, so their peak force has to be lower (since there's no fall off -- the opposite, in fact).  It's a limitation of their design.


Offline PieterGen

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #37 on: Wed, 14 January 2015, 04:45:00 »
...But this mainly serves to highlight how terrible the QWERTY/ANSI/IBM layout is. On the upside, it' s ubiquitous. On the downside, almost everything about its design is anachronistic nonsense.

Anyway, sorry to keep dragging this thread further off topic. In general, I think the ErgoPro is great...

Jacobolus, thanks for the pictures, nice work! And I agree on the ErgoPro. But yet, a symmetrical stagger split keyboard like the μTron would have been a much better but still "grandmother acceptable"  keyboard . An ErgoDox would be too extreme for her.

We all hate those silly keyboard-shoe pictures, but...in reality keyboards and shoes do have a thing in common: they are both designed completely un-ergonomical. Look at a human foot and then to a shoe.

Foot: forefoot is the broadest part
Shoe: forefoot is narrow and pointy

Foot: soles are sensitive, with many nerve endings. Guess why...... errrrrr....perhaps they were meant to feel things ???   Dûh  :D
Shoes: "1 million years of evolution (and/or a creator) have been wrong all along. The soles should feel nothing. Let's make thoses soles thick and cushy"

Foot: fortunately, most humans are born with healthy hands and feet, that have no malfunctions.
Shoes: the human foot *needs* a heeled shoe. Humans are the only species that are born with defective feet.

Fortunately, as with keyboards, the choice of ergonomic shoes is getting better. Such as the Vibram Five Fingers, or my favorites,  Vivobarefoot shoes. Those may look a bit strange because we are so use to the look of "unergonomic" shoes.

Offline JackMills

  • Posts: 153
Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #38 on: Wed, 14 January 2015, 06:26:01 »
...But this mainly serves to highlight how terrible the QWERTY/ANSI/IBM layout is. On the upside, it' s ubiquitous. On the downside, almost everything about its design is anachronistic nonsense.

Anyway, sorry to keep dragging this thread further off topic. In general, I think the ErgoPro is great...

Jacobolus, thanks for the pictures, nice work! And I agree on the ErgoPro. But yet, a symmetrical stagger split keyboard like the μTron would have been a much better but still "grandmother acceptable"  keyboard
Show Image
. An ErgoDox would be too extreme for her.

We all hate those silly keyboard-shoe pictures, but...in reality keyboards and shoes do have a thing in common: they are both designed completely un-ergonomical. Look at a human foot and then to a shoe.

Foot: forefoot is the broadest part
Shoe: forefoot is narrow and pointy

Foot: soles are sensitive, with many nerve endings. Guess why...... errrrrr....perhaps they were meant to feel things ???   Dûh  :D
Shoes: "1 million years of evolution (and/or a creator) have been wrong all along. The soles should feel nothing. Let's make thoses soles thick and cushy"

Foot: fortunately, most humans are born with healthy hands and feet, that have no malfunctions.
Shoes: the human foot *needs* a heeled shoe. Humans are the only species that are born with defective feet.

Fortunately, as with keyboards, the choice of ergonomic shoes is getting better. Such as the Vibram Five Fingers
Show Image
, or my favorites,  Vivobarefoot shoes. Those may look a bit strange because we are so use to the look of "unergonomic" shoes.
I smiled at this analogy. I had a harder time explaining my vibrams and vivobarefoot than defending ergonomical keyboards.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #39 on: Wed, 14 January 2015, 06:56:28 »
Vibrams are great. They start more conversations with strangers than any other piece of clothing, bag, electronic gadget, book, etc. I’ve ever had.

For anyone who needs to look vaguely dressy or doesn’t want to have so many conversations about their footwear, simple leather moccasins are a great alternative (i.e. just one or two pieces of thin flexible leather between your foot and the ground, not the silly ones with thick hard soles tacked on the bottom or stupid extra padding).

Offline yirimyah

  • Posts: 6
Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #40 on: Tue, 20 January 2015, 18:17:00 »
Hi, thought I might give my 2¢ worth regarding barefoot running shoes -- I've got a rather different perspective to most GH users, I suspect, having changed career paths from the IT industry to the fitness industry a few years after college. I train about 250 people, evenly split between weight-loss types and competitive amateur athletes. My expertise ranges from weightlifting to gymnastics; I also teach better form and technique to runners.

Sorry, guys; barefoot shoes are not like ergo keyboards.  The thing to remember about shoes is that they were developed in order to protect the feet. I own FiveFingers KSOs, and I'll happily wear them to the beach, in a jungle, or on a sportsfield (provided I'm not competing in anything; obviously spiked shoes are better for performance.)

But DAMN do I see a lot of idiots injuring themselves wearing FiveFingers to run. Even apart from the whole point that it takes time to adapt, they want to run how we evolved to run? They're running on concrete and asphalt! Do they imagine that these surfaces are found all over the plains of sub-Saharan Africa? Most natural surfaces have a certain amount of bounce - even handpicked soil has a lot of "give" compared to a footpath. Now, I'm not defending dress shoes. They're clearly designed for aesthetics and not functionality. Nobody really pretends otherwise. But "sports shoes", running shoes that is, essentially function as your little portable piece of "give". They provide the springiness and bounce that you'd get, in nature, from the grass or soil you were running across.

If you run in cities, you're going to get joint problems eventually. I guarantee you that. Of the clients I have who are/have been competitive runners, none are injury-free; the damage is much worse for long-distance runners than sprinters. Chances are that this would happen even if we ran on grass all the time; our joints weren't really designed for the loadings we put them under or the ages we live to. But the fact that a product which is responsible for more injuries than anything else I can name should be marketed as "ergonomic" is awful and should be prohibited as deceptive marketing.

Here's a better analogy: Promoting FiveFingers to people who live in cities is like promoting a Maltron two hand fully ergonomic keyboard as the ergonomic choice for a war veteran who has limited mobility in three fingers of his left hand due to a shrapnel injury. You can't expect good outcomes if you ignore relevant variables.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #41 on: Tue, 20 January 2015, 19:00:02 »
But DAMN do I see a lot of idiots injuring themselves wearing FiveFingers to run. Even apart from the whole point that it takes time to adapt, they want to run how we evolved to run? They're running on concrete and asphalt! Do they imagine that these surfaces are found all over the plains of sub-Saharan Africa? Most natural surfaces have a certain amount of bounce - even handpicked soil has a lot of "give" compared to a footpath. [...] "sports shoes", running shoes that is, essentially function as your little portable piece of "give". They provide the springiness and bounce that you'd get, in nature, from the grass or soil you were running across.

You get plenty of springiness from all the tendon–muscle systems in your foot and legs. I know folks who have been running barefoot on city streets for decades without serious injury. Sure, there are a bunch of idiots who injure themselves running, but guess what? A substantial percentage of people running wearing padded inflexible "sport shoes" also get injured. (Like, seriously, the percentage of injuries among runners is crazy crazy high, regardless of their footwear. People think they should “push past the pain” and whatever bull****, and totally **** their joints up.)

Unless you have some kind of more serious study data about this (namely, showing that people with several years experience running barefoot or wearing thin unpadded shoes have injuries at a greater rate than runners who wear padded running shoes), I call BS.

One thing I will agree with: if you have bad running form when barefoot or wearing barefoot shoes, especially if you land on your heels, then it’s very easy to injure yourself. Easy solution: don’t do that!  It’s also pretty easy to injure yourself if all the stabilizer muscles in your lower leg are weak from decades of disuse. Less easy solution: make sure you work your way up gradually.

In general, my advice to anyone who wants to run barefoot, or in thin moccasins or vibrams or similar shoes: (1) make sure you aren’t landing on your heels... try running one block down the street that way and all your joints will be in pain, which is your body’s way of asking you “hey idiot, what the hell are you doing?” (2) ease into it, pretend you are starting a brand new sport you have no training or experience in and start with the kind of easy load a beginner would start with; most of us have terribly out of shape feet and lower legs, filled with tiny muscles which have atrophied from wearing shoes all the time and spending most of our time sitting; (2a) if something starts to hurt, stop for the day; (3) try to work on your form, reducing the amount of up and down bouncing you do, try to stay light and springy on your feet, try to make sure all your muscles are just the right tension to absorb the shock from each step: either too tense or too loose and your tendons can’t effectively absorb/transfer all that energy, and you’ll get tired or get hurt.

Competitive amateur athletes are probably the most at risk group here, because their identity is tied up in their performance: they’re switching shoes to look for some kind of improvement, and so they want to run similar distances wearing vibrams to the ones they’d run in their previous shoes. These people need to be carefully warned to take it slow, start out walking or only running a few blocks a day. The people I know who injured themselves with vibrams tried to run a few miles a day wearing them, after a lifetime of wearing padded shoes. Recipe for disaster.
« Last Edit: Tue, 20 January 2015, 19:23:48 by jacobolus »

Offline yirimyah

  • Posts: 6
Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #42 on: Tue, 20 January 2015, 19:35:23 »
You can call BS all you like, maybe some unfortunate soul will listen :)

Really, I have several clients right now who have injuries from running in Vibrams, but you wanted references? Here they are.

In May last year, Vibram settled a lawsuit for $3.75 million after it was alleged that Vibram deceived consumers by advertising that the footwear could reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles. As part of the settlement, Vibram has agreed to discontinue to make any claims that FiveFingers footwear is effective in strengthening muscles or reducing injury in its marketing and advertising campaigns.

In this study of 100 participants training for a 10km event minimalist footwear increased injuries and pain at the shin and calf. This is, incidentally, the only relevant study which uses a substantial number of participants.

Before you cite the original, Vibram-sponsored "our shoes are great!!!" study used 8 participants (hell, you'd have a chance of demonstrating Russian Roulette to be safe with 8 participants) and only "experienced barefoot runners" -- that is, people who were either from that small percentage of humans that don't seem to get joint injuries when running barefoot on concrete, or who were experienced enough to know never to run on concrete while barefoot, or who were used to the pain and injuries so didn't complain. I remind you that we're not comparing "run barefoot" to "run in Vibrams" - the second is undoubtedly safer, because they provide more padding and protection. For the same reason, "run in Vibrams" vs "run in running shoes" is easily answered.

Vibram FiveFingers are the footwear manifestation of the paleo food movement. Let's live like our ancestors did, because then we'll be healthy, like them. Wait, they were smaller, weaker, less intelligent, suffered more diseases and lived to 40? Oh well, let's do it anyway!

Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #43 on: Tue, 20 January 2015, 20:07:13 »
In May last year, Vibram settled a lawsuit for $3.75 million after it was alleged that Vibram deceived consumers by advertising that the footwear could reduce foot injuries and strengthen foot muscles. As part of the settlement, Vibram has agreed to discontinue to make any claims that FiveFingers footwear is effective in strengthening muscles or reducing injury in its marketing and advertising campaigns.
Yeah, they settled because running large studies is expensive and takes years, and taking cases to court with the hope that a study in a few years will prove you right in the end is incredibly risky (i.e. a bad business decision). They were stupid to make specific health claims in their advertising, and some ******* with lawyer friends figured out they could turn the mistake into a payday. Sucky situation for Vibram, but they were boxed into a corner, and learned their lesson. Taking this lawsuit settlement as evidence about whether or not to wear the shoes is ridiculous.

Quote
In this study of 100 participants training for a 10km event minimalist footwear increased injuries and pain at the shin and calf. This is, incidentally, the only relevant study which uses a substantial number of participants.

“One hundred and three runners with neutral or mild pronation were randomly assigned a neutral (Nike Pegasus 28), partial minimalist (Nike Free 3.0 V2) or full minimalist shoe (Vibram 5-Finger Bikila). Runners underwent baseline testing to record training and injury history, as well as selected anthropometric measurements, before starting a 12-week training programme in preparation for a 10 km event.”

I wouldn’t advise anyone to do a competitive (i.e. try to run fast as possible) 10 km run after only 3 months of wearing “minimalist” shoes. That’s a very short amount of time to adapt to a running form that’s totally different from what you’ve been doing your whole life. Imagine we got a bunch of shot putters, and gave them 3 months training, and then had them pitch a competitive baseball game, on the theory that “well, it’s still throwing things right?” Could you then conclude on the basis of some resulting injuries that “throwing baseballs is an inherently dangerous activity undertaken only by idiots”? Of course not. All you could conclude was that shot putters need more than 3 months to safely become baseball pitchers.

Note that in this study, runners with prior barefoot running experience were excluded. So what this study was studying was basically: can you transition in 3 months from running in padded shoes to running in vibrams while undergoing a competitive level of training without injury? This is potentially an interesting question to study (though I’d personally design the study quite a bit differently), but it’s a very different question from “is running in vibrams inherently safe or unsafe?”

Quote
Before you cite the original, Vibram-sponsored "our shoes are great!!!" study
Oh yeah, I agree, Vibram definitely hasn’t done any study that holds up to any kind of scrutiny, but that doesn’t really prove anything except that they’re not really a biomechanics/athletics research lab. Nor is it their job to be. The studies of this topic should come from independent sources.

Quote
from that small percentage of humans that don't seem to get joint injuries when running barefoot on concrete, or who were experienced enough to know never to run on concrete while barefoot, or who were used to the pain and injuries so didn't complain.
Again, pretty much anyone (who doesn’t have some prior injury or disability) can learn to run on concrete while barefoot without any more harm than running with padded shoes. It just takes a lot of practice learning the right form and strengthening up the relevant muscles. The people who don’t get joint injuries from running barefoot on pavement aren’t some kind of new superhuman species.

Quote
I remind you that we're not comparing "run barefoot" to "run in Vibrams" - the second is undoubtedly safer, because they provide more padding and protection.
I think running in Vibrams vs. running barefoot is pretty similar in terms of joint injuries. Running in Vibrams has the advantages of avoiding some kinds of puncture wounds, and avoiding feeling a very hot or cold surface (like cement on a hot day or snow), and allows slightly faster and easier movement on roads covered in tiny rocks. But the whole point of Vibrams is that they really don’t have “padding” to speak of. They don’t cushion the impact from each step at all, expecting you to absorb that shock with your tendons (since that’s the job tendons were evolved to do).

If anything, for someone used to running in padded shoes, switching to running barefoot is probably safer than switching to running in Vibrams, since the unexpected amount of sensation in the unprepared bottoms of the feet will encourage the runner to take it easy at first.

Quote
Vibram FiveFingers are the footwear manifestation of the paleo food movement.
Yeah maybe. And there are some similar advantages in either case. Someone following a “paleo” diet is going to do better than someone following a “food pyramid” diet.

In both cases, the previous theory (“you should run in padded shoes” or “you should mostly eat bread and avoid any grease”) was more about marketing and socialization (“buy our new fancy shoes with all these special features!” or “being barefoot is dirty and unhygienic and dangerous, only poor people go barefoot”) than anything proven empirically in a satisfactory way.

In both cases it’s possible to learn something from the new replacement theory without getting dogmatic about it.

Quote
Let's live like our ancestors did, because then we'll be healthy, like them. Wait, they were smaller, weaker, less intelligent, suffered more diseases and lived to 40? Oh well, let's do it anyway!
Hunter–gatherers were/are actually pretty healthy (assuming that they get enough food, don’t break a leg they can’t fix, don’t get an arrow through the chest, don’t die of some nasty incurable disease, don’t get bitten by a poisonous snake/spider, etc.). I don’t think the people you’re ridiculing would advocate years of near starvation, blood feuds to the death, abandoning modern medicine, drinking unpurified water out of rivers, sleeping in a cave with a giant wood fire breathing tons of smoke every day, etc.

In any event, it’s the peasant farmers that really had/have life rough, not the hunter–gatherers. Jared Diamond’s famous paper from 1987 is the fun source on this: http://discovermagazine.com/1987/may/02-the-worst-mistake-in-the-history-of-the-human-race
« Last Edit: Tue, 20 January 2015, 20:33:19 by jacobolus »

Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #44 on: Tue, 20 January 2015, 21:03:43 »
By the way, to back up my prior claim that in general injury rates are very high for runners wearing padded running shoes, here’s a quick google result from 1992:

“for the average recreational runner, who is steadily training and who participates in a long distance run every now and then, the overall yearly incidence rate for running injuries varies between 37 and 56%. Depending on the specificity of the group of runners concerned (competitive athletes; average recreational joggers; boys and girls) and on different circumstances these rates vary.”
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1439399

Perhaps you should just tell all your clients to stop running period. It’s clearly a dangerous activity that everyone should avoid, like smoking or typing. ;)

All joking aside, this is why it’s very difficult to get a good sense of risks from anecdotal evidence, because there are going to be a whole bunch of injured runners regardless of footwear, and there are many confounding factors that are hard to assess at small scale. If the sample population for the anecdotes is a specific population of a few dozen (as compared to, say, thousands chosen randomly) then natural variance is going to create apparent patterns in the data that turn out to just be artifacts of the small sample (before we even consider selection biases and confounding factors).
« Last Edit: Tue, 20 January 2015, 21:22:15 by jacobolus »

Offline yirimyah

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #45 on: Wed, 21 January 2015, 01:33:00 »
Sigh, a fanatic. Look, the fact is that unless you are an infant who has never worn any shoes, transitioning from normal to minimalist shoes is a necessary and inevitable process if you wish to use minimalist ones. If that process is dangerous and painful, as it is, then this is an important issue and is highly relevant to any discussion of the benefits/drawbacks of said shoes.

If you'd like to complain about the experimental design of that study, find me a better one :) Note that the participants in that study were exclusively those with neutral or mild pronation; so in other words, those with moderate or pronounced pronation were excluded; so in other words the study exclusively selected from people who had the least requirement for supportive shoes and who would be the least likely to experience injuries from barefoot styles. I don't know why they made this choice, seeing as it would certainly make the results smaller and non-representive of the harm caused in the community. At a guess, I'd say that was an Ethics Committee requirement -- to understand why, you could find someone with some knowledge of biomechanics and ask them to close their eyes and imagine a barefoot runner with severe pronation running on concrete. Watch them wince.

Oh, and please understand that the injuries were sustained during training and not, as you suggest, during competition. Nobody was pushing these people to break themselves.

Yes, running sucks. The only time you need to use it is if your objective is to become a better runner :) Seriously, that's it. If you were running to get better at something else, or in order to improve yourself in any way, there isn't anything it improves which isn't improved more easily with a safer method. To oversimplify things - some parts of the body respond to exercise by becoming stronger and other parts respond by breaking down, sharply or gradually. Running pounds the f**k out of your joints, from the little ones in your feet all the way up your spine, and places sharply varying impact loadings on over-tight muscles and ligaments that probably spend 9-5 M-F resting under a desk, disused and forgotten. Of course the ligaments and such wouldn't be getting such a pounding from an advanced athlete, (unless they were pushing themselves) but Normal People don't have any idea how to run. I teach Pose Running, and outside the Olympic-style lifts there's few things people have more trouble learning. Now, with the Oly lifts it's hard simply because they're technically complex and require the athlete to be precise while being explosive. But pose running shouldn't be hard - the reason it is, is that everyone thinks they know how to run and they've got hundreds of hours of experience of bouncing up and down like their legs are pogo sticks. And really, even if everyone was taught good running technique (Pose or otherwise) that wouldn't mean that Joe Average is going to be able to safely stabilise his ankle and knee joints when 210 lbs hits the ground at 20 mph. Turn him upside down, back flat on the floor, one leg vertical, and drop a 200 lb weight on his foot. Is this a good idea? Can he safely catch this load with one foot? Dear God, no! Then why do we expect him *not* to demonstrate appalling valgus/varus faults with every single step he runs? And what happens when he tries to change directions at top speed? What do you think?

Oh, physiotherapists love runners even more than they do CrossFitters.

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The people who don’t get joint injuries from running barefoot on pavement aren’t some kind of new superhuman species.

No, just a minority group. Like people who don't get age-related eyesight deterioration, or people who are under 5ft tall, or people who have perfect pitch. Life on Earth evolved sex in order to promote diversity, and doesn't it do a fantastic job.

Offline jacobolus

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #46 on: Wed, 21 January 2015, 03:01:17 »
Sigh, a fanatic.
Just like the previous condescending sarcasm about ancient humans, this is totally unhelpful to the discussion.

I’m by no means a “fanatic” (though I admit I do enjoy walking, hiking, and sometimes running barefoot or wearing “minimalist” shoes like thin leather moccasins or vibrams). Personally, I couldn’t care less what shoes someone else decides to wear.

It’s fine to present evidence, and then make careful logical arguments clearly supported by the evidence. It’s also fine to present personal opinions, anecdotes, and beliefs, as long as it’s clear that’s what they are. I just hate FUD. When people take limited evidence (such as for instance, Vibram’s lawsuit settlement or this BJSM paper) and try to spin it as proof about much broader questions, using a confident tone of voice to shore up weak arguments and flimsy evidence, I find it annoying.

I’m similarly annoyed when people make FUD-ish claims about keyboard ergonomics, electronic gadgets, political systems, or whatever else.

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Look, the fact is that unless you are an infant who has never worn any shoes, transitioning from normal to minimalist shoes is a necessary and inevitable process if you wish to use minimalist ones. If that process is dangerous and painful, as it is, then this is an important issue and is highly relevant to any discussion of the benefits/drawbacks of said shoes.
Yes, transitioning carefully and safely is important. That’s why I just said so multiple times in my previous posts.

... But they didn’t really study various ways of transitioning, or the concept of transitioning in general. They gave a relatively small number of people a (IMO extremely aggressive) preset transition schedule to keep, without as far as I can tell any advice or training or literature, and then measured the results across two types of shoes and one control type (the control was similar to their existing shoes). All this proves is that that specific transition regime caused more pain than not transitioning, and maybe a few injuries. Okay, fine. That opens up a bunch of questions for future research (like what the injury rate looks like with different types of transitions schedules, etc.), but doesn’t really prove anything more general about the merits of one type of shoe.

Quote
Note that the participants in that study were exclusively those with neutral or mild pronation; so in other words, those with moderate or pronounced pronation were excluded; so in other words the study exclusively selected from people who had the least requirement for supportive shoes and who would be the least likely to experience injuries from barefoot styles. I don't know why they made this choice,
Quoting from the paper itself, “Each participant’s foot posture index (FPI) was documented and only individuals with feet categorised as ‘neutral’, ‘supinated’ or ‘pronated’ according to the guidelines by Redmond et al. were included in this study; foot postures at the extremes listed as ‘highly pronated’ or ‘highly supinated’ were excluded.”

They don’t explicitly say this, but my guess is that they excluded people with extreme foot postures because they were already studying a very small sample population, and didn’t want to have to deal with too many extra confounding variables.

Of course, some other counfounding variables weren’t addressed: “Additional data regarding concurrent sport participation was not recorded and may have influenced the outcomes”

* * *

Anyway, let’s take a look at what the paper actually reports:

They analyzed 99 participants (they started with more but a few dropped out): 32 wearing regular running shoes, 32 wearing “partial minimalist” shoes (Nike Free), 35 wearing “full minimalist” shoes (Vibram Bikila). They had them do 12 weeks of training leading up to a 10k race, starting with 160 minutes of running in the first week (~4 runs x 40 minutes) up through a peak of 215 minutes of running in week 10 (~4 runs x 60 minutes), before a couple weeks of taper, and had people ease in “slowly” starting at running 20% in the new shoes at the first week up to 60% the last week.

They measured cumulative “injury events”, where “injury event” = “three consecutive missed run workouts secondary to running-related pain”.

Of the 35 Bikila wearers, 7 were injured during the 12 weeks: 2 at wk 2, 1 at wk 4, 1 at wk 6, 2 at wk 9, and 1 at wk 12

Of the 32 “normal shoe” wearers, 4 were injured, at weeks 3, 4, 10, and 11, respectively.

This difference is not statistically significant at the p=0.05 level. (Something they show in their chart but never state explicitly in the paper, which is kind of weird)

Of the 32 Nike Free wearers, 12 were injured, a difference from the control group which is statistically significant at the p=0.05 level.

Additionally, they measured the foot and ankle disability index (FADI), and found that the mean FADI score dropped for all three groups, from ~98 at the start for all three down to ~92 for the Bikila group, ~93.5 for the regular shoes group, and ~95 for the Nike Free group. None of the group differences are statistically significant.

They also had people rate their pain:

- “For the VAS pain scales, comparison of the pain scores over the 12-week period report little difference. Only in VAS for shin/calf pain did participants wearing full minimalist footwear report significantly (p<0.01) greater pain than both other footwear groups.”

- “there was no increase in foot pain reported in the participants in the full minimalist footwear group”

- “runners in full minimalist footwear condition reported greater calf and shin pain throughout the 12-week period.  This finding was not unexpected given the likelihood that some of the runners in the full minimalist footwear condition adopted a forefoot strike pattern that could have resulted in greater (and unaccustomed) loading of the Achilles tendon and triceps surae musculature secondary to a larger ankle dorsiflexion moment immediately following touchdown.”

I really don’t think this study proves anything like what you’re implying from it. In particular, when totally changing running form, I don’t think some shin pain is at all surprising. I and several other people I know who run in vibrams or running barefoot also experienced some muscle soreness or pain when first starting out, something which goes away after your muscles get used to the new form, and which doesn’t inherently lead to injuries if you’re careful.... which is exactly why I’d recommend anyone doing such a transition take it slow and take the rest of the day off whenever they feel any pain.
« Last Edit: Wed, 21 January 2015, 03:19:52 by jacobolus »

Offline PieterGen

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #47 on: Wed, 21 January 2015, 06:17:18 »
Wow, I missed this discussion. I am a minimalistic/barefoot runner myself, and have done so for the last 8 years. If climate, soil and circumstances permit (more on that later) I prefer barefoot, but most of the times I wear very minimalistic shoes. As far as I know there are no scientific data on the dangers & benefits of minimalistic/barefoot versus "shod" running. I can only tell my own experiences and stuff I have read.

Running is bad. But I love it
- running is a tough sport for the body. Regardless. If you run a lot, you WILL get injuries from time to time. I do get them too and it sucks. But as nice as bicycle riding, tennis and swimming are, I LOVE running.
- I have found no systematic difference in the amount of injuries in my "shod running" years versus my "minimal or barefoot running" years. 
- there is a big difference in feel, though. Running barefoot (or minimal) feels much nicer, more fun to me.

Barefoot is easier to learn than minimal running. Do it slowly
- I would advise against going from normal running shoes to minimalistic shoes. I would go normal shoes --> barefoot --> minimalistic shoes. Barefoot is easier because you get more feedback, so you run automatically in the right form. 
- I would build it up *very* slowly. If not, you may seriously hurt your achilles tendons or break a metatarsal bone. I am not exaggerating.
- if you wear shoes with heels all week, and then run once a week in your brand new Vibrams, you WILL get troubles with your feet. So if you want to go the minimal shoes route, make sure that your every shoes are minimal as well.

Running in the Wild, the City, the Cold or the Dark? Protect your feet!
- asphalt and concrete are hard, mainly because they are so monotonous. The load on your feet hits at exactly the same point, step after step. A more varied terrain is nicer to the feet. And also more fun. Sand roads, dirt tracks can be very nice and soft on the feet. But running in the "nature" is tough!. Think of thorns, brambles, pointy rocks & stones, broken tree branches and so on. No wonder that the famous running Tamahumara indians in Mexico wear running sandals to protect their feet. Actually, in most of the world, peoples have been protecting their feet for thousands of years........

So, barefoot feels nicest, but I protect my feet when.....
- I run after dark, because then I can't see what's on the road
- it is cold. I live in Northwest Europe, our winters are cold & wet
- I run on rough tracks. Like in the moutains, in woods with lots of stingy plants, or in the city with broken glass and stuff
- I run a race. Protected feet = one less worry = less looking at the soil

My conclusion
My -totally unscienticfic - conclusion is that in many circumstances it is wise to protect the feet. If you want to go the minimal shoes route, make sure you build it up slowly and wear minimal shoes (or go barefoot) a lot. If your everyday shoes are standard shoes (narrow, thick sole, with a heel) and you go running once or tweice a week in your Vibrams, you will get achilles troubles.
« Last Edit: Wed, 21 January 2015, 11:20:33 by PieterGen »

Online tp4tissue

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #48 on: Thu, 22 January 2015, 12:15:17 »
Or you know.. Drive... and Use the Internet...   Fvk running..

I run 3 times a week. The only reason for it is because I want to make sure that if I was being chased by aliens or bears,  I'd at least have a shot in case they were fat aliens or out of shape bears...

Offline nobodysbusiness

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Re: The waiting game - Matias Ergo pro
« Reply #49 on: Mon, 02 February 2015, 09:58:15 »
The ErgoPro is supposed to ship late January or early February.

So... has it shipped yet?

...

How about now?

...

And now?

 ;D