Training to Turn: The Lyrical Shoe Spins Into Success
Turns on floor have always been a requirement, yet provide challenges as the floor exercise carpeting creates resistance. At the Elite level, gymnasts are taking advantage of turning to meet difficulty and bonus requirements - a triple turn earns a “C” value, a double turn on toe in 180 degree split earns a “D” and quadruple turn is an easy “E” if performed to the complete degree. While gymnasts are usually offered the choice of wearing a shoe or going barefoot, most opt to go with the latter due to a lack of comfort and concerns about slipping. We have seen the variations - the Chinese wear socks, Romanian Olympic Medalists Nadia Comaneci and Cătălina Ponor wear that standard cris cross beam shoe, while Americans typically are seen bare footed vs. the full coverage beam slipper that was present in the 1980’s.
The new trend for turning success is the lyrical shoe which covers the toe and is open in the back. Described as soft, mobile, and “like a second skin,” the shoe is fashioned to allow a gymnasts’ foot ample room to spread out and provide a seamless feel. A suede sole delivers comfort and a soft elastic binding keeps the shoe in place without pinching the foot, while secondary elastic attached to the arch allows for individual foot customization. The most advanced lyrical shoes can be purchased through Capezio, which embraces classic design and the latest technology. If you want to see these shoes in action, visit YouTube and search American floor routines by 2012 Summer Olympic team alternate Sarah Finnegan...
With Worlds coming up this weekend, keep your eyes open for other gymnasts that are spinning into success!
Image: Sarah Finnegan, 2012 Olympic Trials