Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Running Shoes Vs Basketball Shoe

The purpose of this post is to test the performance of a running shoe versus a basketball shoe. We will document the difference in weight and test their performance by running a quarter of a mile Sprint. Do the running shoes, in fact, make you faster. If so, how much faster? Faster by what percentage?

You Will Need

  • A stopwatch

  • One pair of designated basketball shoes

  • One pair of designated running shoes Note: Both shoes much be the same size.

This activity will be much easier if you, the instructor, have a pair of basketball shoes and running shoes. However, most of us might have one of the two but not both. And some of us may not have either. No worries, some of your students will have both (those that run track/cross country as well as play basketball) or you can always ask your local shoe store to donate/discount them for your classroom. Needless to say, you want to start preparing for the project weeks in advance.

Preparing For The Project:

1) I would start asking your students who has a pair of both running and basketball shoes at least two weeks in advance to see what types of resources you have at your disposal. The project works best when you have 4-5 teams, each team with 1 runner.

2) After you have solidified your 4-5 runners, split up the rest of the class into teams. Each team will have 1 runner.

3) Designate a track or field to run.

4) Create a Project Paper For Each Team (See below)

Project Worksheet For Each Team:

The types of questions you ask will be dependent on the skill-set/grade-level of your students. I will give you a rough idea of the type of worksheet I would create but you may need to critique it for your students.

Before Activity:

Team Name_______________________

Names Of Students In Team______________________________________________

Weight of Basketball Shoe______________ (can be found online or by using a scale)

Weight of Running Shoe ________________ (can be found online or by using a scale)

What is The Difference Between The Weights of Both Shoes_____________________

What is The % Difference Between The Weights of Both Shoes___________________


Time For Lap One Basketball Shoes___________________________________

Time For Lap Two Running Shoes_____________________________________

Difference Between Two Running Times_______________________________

Percentage Difference Between Two Running Times______________________

Additional Questions:

Would you say the running shoes have a significant impact on a runners speed?

If not, why might runners still decide to purchase a running shoe over a basketball shoe?

Back In The Classroom:

Now that your students are tired of running and screaming it is a good time to go over the results from each team. Compare the percentage differences of each team; both of the running time as well as the weights of the two shoes. If you would like, write the statistics on the board and have your students calculate the averages of all the teams.

Discuss the last two questions that were posed to the students and ask how marketing plays a role in selling shoes. You may also want to ask the runners which shoe felt more comfortable while running or they thought the times would be different if they were running a longer race?

Homework Questions:

1) Given the percentage difference in the two running times, how much time would a runner save on their 8:13 mile if they were to use these running shoes as opposed to the basketball shoes they used?

2) Would you pay $113 for these shoes? Yes No


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