I've found a number of articles saying there is no advantage in having the cleat under the ball of your foot as opposed to further back towards the arch. The reasoning is that the calf muscle is not suited for endurance efforts and shouldn't be overused while cycling.
Most of a cyclist's power comes from the quads, glutes and hamstrings - the lower leg only connecting to the pedal and stabilising what happens above. It doesn't contribute enough to justify its energy expenditure. The idea is there will be more oxygen/fuel left for the bigger muscle groups. Side benefits include a reduction in the overall height on the bike for better aerodynamics and hopefully the elimination of my recurring Achilles tendinitis.
This really resonates with me, as I often get sore calves, even when I have positioned the cleat as far back as possible on my shoes.
Is anyone aware of any research or information supporting a more forward location for the cleat?