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Foot Type and Overuse Injury in Triathletes

Joshua Burns BAppSc(Pod)Hons1, Anne-Maree Keenan BAppSc(Pod), MAppSc2, and Anthony Redmond PhD, MSc, DPodM2
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  • 1 School of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia.
  • | 2 Academic Unit of Musculoskeletal Disease, School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, England.
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Abnormal foot morphology has been suggested to contribute to overuse injuries in athletes. This study investigated the relationship between foot type and injury incidence in a large sample of competitive triathletes not wearing foot orthoses during a 6-month retrospective analysis and a 10-week prospective cohort study. Foot alignment was measured using the Foot Posture Index and the Valgus Index, and participants were assigned to supinated, pronated, and normal foot-type groups. Overall, 131 triathletes sustained 155 injuries during the study. Generally, foot type was not a major risk factor for injury; however, there was a fourfold increased risk of overuse injury during the competition season in athletes with a supinated foot type. The results of this study show that triathletes with a supinated foot type are more likely to sustain an overuse injury. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 95(3): 235–241, 2005)

Corresponding author: Joshua Burns, BAppSc(Pod)Hons, PO Box 799, Neutral Bay, New South Wales 2089, Australia.