Performance and Comfort Considerations for Curling Shoes
The Quantum integrated design system (I.D.S.) leaves behind the use of an adhesive to attach a slider and gripper to the sole of the shoe. The adhesive bond has been the standard for generations, however, in addition to delaminating problems, it has bound us to Teflon* as the only material that could be used as a slider. The Quantum employs an innovative mechanical attachment system wherein slider and gripper “disks” are snapped into strategically positioned receptacles in the sole.
The advantages of Quantum Discs are numerous:
- The slider discs do not have to be bondable or flexible, hence they can be molded from a wide variety of plastics, or machined from Teflon or stainless steel, each material offering different performance characteristics;
- The discs are easily changed. Simply snap out the old disk and snap in the new. Upgrading slider speed, replacing a damaged disk, accommodating preferences such as slider disks on the front and gripper discs on the back, and setting up for lefthanders are all readily accomplished without pro-shop assistance;
- The disks will not fall out;
- The disk pattern creates a “Stability Channel” running the length of the shoe. This pattern focuses weight to the periphery of the sole, thereby widening the balance platform and increasing stability.
- The slider disks are available in various materials, each offering a different speed, while the gripper disk features a TPR rubber surface which affords optimal traction.
Slider Thickness - slider speed increases with the thickness of the Teflon™, ¼” being the thickest and the fastest. Every curler should be looking for optimal slide with a minimum of leg thrust. For most curlers excessive leg thrust results in instability. Experienced curlers who are accustomed to the ice and do not have stability concerns usually prefer a fast slider, whereas less experienced curlers usually want to balance speed with stability. It is important to keep in mind that inexperienced curlers generally have low leg thrust and, if they are equipped with an excessively slow slider, the result will be an unsatisfactory delivery.
Hinged Front Slider - sliders that have a thickness of 5/32” or greater tend to be rigid, limiting any heel elevation during delivery. The Podium sole itself, not the slider, is designed to afford the appropriate degree of longitudinal flexibility. Rigidity also results in constant heel rubbing during walking. By splitting the front from the back slider and “hinging” the front slider, the negative effect of rigidity is eliminated on Podium Gold and Silver shoes.
Lateral Stability - stability during delivery is best achieved by distributing weight equally across the width of the sole. During delivery the natural tendency is for weight to be shifted to the outside of the sliding foot. The outsole on the Podium series is expressly moulded to incorporate a lateral stabilizer in the ball of the foot. The result is even distribution of weight across the slider, a wider balance platform and enhanced stability.
Warmth - insulation throughout the upper and air cushioning in the sole ensure warmth on all Podium models.
Comfort and Fit - careful attention to materials and design afford slipper like comfort from the first time Podium shoes are worn. Further, the Silver model is available in both REGULAR and WIDE fit. Unlike most curling shoes, ladies Podiums are built on specific women’s moulds.
Quality - most shoe manufacturing relies upon a high volume production line. Only high end shoes are still produced in lower volume “hand made” factories. The entire Podium line is produced in such an environment – guaranteeing careful attention to quality and detail.