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‘Pace-Tuned’ Running Shoes: Vimazi Z-Series Matches Your Speed

Vimazi paced-running shoe(Photo/Vimazi)
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Shoes at your speed: Vimazi unveils a line of running shoes it claims match runners with a shoe customized to their pace.

Coming out of the gate strong, startup brand Vimazi developed a “pace-tuned” running shoe backed by research that helps maximize runners’ performance at different pace ranges. The brand officially premiered at this year’s convening of The Running Event (TRE).

The brand’s founders and marathon runners Scott Tucker and John Zilly based the brand around the idea that “running shoes tuned by pace would be much more efficient because vastly different forces are generated at different paces.”

Shoes, they say, need to react accordingly.

Pace-Tuned Running Shoe: How It Works

It starts with the heel drop. The drop specifically affects how a runner’s foot strikes the ground. Running shoes with a 0mm heel drop offer an equal amount of cushioning under the heels and toes.

The most standard heel drop for running shoes is about 10 mm, which offers a lot of cushion in the heel, according to REI’s running shoe guide

Vimazi created the heel drops for its Z-series shoes to match the pace range, providing greater cushioning for slower paces and a smaller heel drop for faster pace ranges.

The faster models, including the Z20 and Z30, offer a minimal heel drop of 4mm. Meanwhile, its mid-range pacing shoes, the Z40 and Z50, have a 5mm drop.

And the long-distance marathon pacing shoes offer the most cushioning with a 6mm heel drop.

Vimazi pace-running insole
(Photo/Vimazi)

Heel Stack

Heel stack is not the same as heel drop, but it is equally important. The heel stack is the amount of material between the runner’s bare foot and the ground, without pressure. Heel stacks range from maximum cushion to nearly barefoot.

Vimazi adjusts the heel stack based on pace.

The faster-pace Z20-Z30 will have a low heel stack of 25mm. Runners in the mid-range pace will have a heel stack of 29mm, and those marathoners considering the slower pace Z60-Z70 will have the highest heel stack at 30mm.

Heel, Midfoot, and Forefoot Fast Pods

Vimazi developed proprietary cushioning tech to tune the heel, midfoot, and forefoot of each running shoe model by pace.

According to the brand, “running forces differ by pace and, importantly, between heel and forefoot.”

The 6 Z-Series Models

Vimazi’s initial launch has six shoe models, each “tuned” to a range of running times — from world-class 4:30-minute mile, up to a more leisurely 12:30 mile.

In theory, Vimazi has a pacing shoe for nearly everyone.

Z20 Beta: 4:30-5:30 min/mi

The Z20 is engineered for the fastest elite and sub-elite runners. For this range, Vimazi says that it is optimized for agility, speed, and max energy efficiency to maximize performance.

Vimazi Z20 paced-running shoe

Who they’re for: For those who run a 10K between 28:00-34:00 or a 1:59-2:44 marathon, then Vimazi recommends the Z20 says it’s designed for elite level, lightweight runners for fast tempo runs, intervals, fartleks, and racing.

Z30 Beta: 5:30-7:00 min/mi

Vimazi states that its Z30 is specifically tuned and designed for elite and sub-elite distance runners. This model also claims to optimize agility, speed, and max energy efficiency at pace.

Vimazi Z30 paced-running shoe

Who they’re for: The Vimazi Z30 is engineered for quick, lightweight runners who run a 10K between 32:30-42:00 or a 2:18-2:55 marathon.

Z40 Beta: 6:15-7:45 min/mi

The Vimazi Z40 specifies use for runners who run between 6:15-7:45 minutes per mile and is optimized for quickness and max energy efficiency at pace. This model says to offer a slightly wider platform for enhanced stability at speed.

Vimazi Z40 paced-running shoe

Who they’re for: The Vimazi Z40 is designed for slender to average-weight runners who run 10Ks between 38:50-48:00 or marathons in the 2:45-3:24 range. This model also states that it is best for fast long runs, tempo runs, intervals and fartleks, and racing.

Z50 Beta: 7:15-8:45 min/mi

Vimazi states the Z50 has a wider platform for enhanced stability and is optimized for quickness and maximum energy efficiency. This model is specifically aligned for those running between 7:15 and 8:45 minutes per mile.

Vimazi Z50 paced-running shoe

Who they’re for: If some of your training runs hit the 7-minute to sub-9-minute pace zone, the Z50 is your shoe. For racing, this would your pick if you’re running 10K between 45:00-54:20 or marathons in the 3:10-3:50 range.

Z60 Beta: 8:30-10:30 min/mi

For those running between 8:30-10:30 minutes per mile, then Vimazi recommends the Z60. Vimazi claims it is optimized for maximum energy efficiency and stable quickness at pace. Similar to the Z50, it has a wider platform that’s said to enhance stability and roll prevention.

Vimazi Z60 paced-running shoe

Who they’re for: Vimazi designed the Z60 for 10K runners pacing between 52:50-65:10 or half marathons in the 1:50-2:18 range.

Z70 Beta: 10-12:30 min/mi

For runners between the 10-12:30-minute range per mile, Vimazi recommends the Z70. This model states that it’s for maximum energy efficiency at pace and also features a wider platform for enhanced stability and roll prevention, much like the Z60 and Z50.

Vimazi Z70 paced-running shoe

Who they’re for: If you run 10Ks between 62:00-78:00 or marathons in the 4:22-5:30 range, the Z70 would be your shoe.

Vimazi Shoe Specs

  • Material: Mesh upper and rubber outsole
  • Stack: 25 mm
  • Drop: 4 mm
  • Midsole: Pace-tuned Z-Foam with FastPod
  • Models: Six shoe models ranging Z20-Z70
  • Sizes: Men’s: 8-14, women’s: 6-11 (including half sizes)
  • Weight: 5.5 oz. (women’s size 8); 6.7 oz. (men’s size 9)
  • Price: $175

Vimazi’s shoes are not yet available, but you can add yourself to its email waiting list if you want to get your hands on a pair later.

Vimazi predicts the Z-series shoes will be available in January 2023.

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