Background: Research addressing the effect of running shoe type on the low- or high-arched foot during gait is limited. We sought 1) to analyze mean plantar pressure and mean contact area differences between low- and high-arched feet across three test conditions, 2) to determine which regions of the foot (rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot) contributed to potential differences in mean plantar pressure and mean contact area, and 3) to determine the association between the static arch height index and the dynamic modified arch index.
Methods: Plantar pressure distributions for 75 participants (40 low arched and 35 high arched) were analyzed across three conditions (nonshod, motion control running shoes, and cushioning running shoes) during treadmill walking.
Results: In the motion control and cushioning shoe conditions, mean plantar contact area increased in the midfoot (28% for low arched and 68% for high arched), whereas mean plantar pressure decreased by approximately 30% relative to the nonshod condition. There was moderate to good negative correlation between the arch height index and the modified arch index.
Conclusions: Cushioning and motion control running shoes tend to increase midfoot mean plantar contact area while decreasing mean plantar pressure across the low- or high-arched foot. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 99(4): 330–338, 2009)
The etiology of running-related injuries remains unknown; however, an implicit theory underlies much of the conventional research and practice in the prevention of these injuries. This theory posits that the cause of running-related injuries lies in the high-impact forces experienced when the foot contacts the ground and the subsequent abnormal movement of the subtalar joint. The application of this theory is seen in the design of the modern running shoe, with cushioning, support, and motion control. However, a new theory is emerging that suggests that it is the use of these modern running shoes that has caused a maladaptive running style, which contributes to a high incidence of injury among runners. The suggested application of this theory is to cease use of the modern running shoe and transition to barefoot or minimalist running. This new running paradigm, which is at present inadequately defined, is proposed to avoid the adverse biomechanical effects of the modern running shoe. Future research should rigorously define and then test both theories regarding their ability to discover the etiology of running-related injury. Once discovered, the putative cause of running-related injury will then provide an evidence-based rationale for clinical prevention and treatment.
To date, there is conflicting evidence that high-end “motion control” running shoes can correct and control rearfoot pronation. Many methods have been used to evaluate the efficacy of motion control footwear in reducing hindfoot pronation during gait, including stop-motion photography, three-dimensional camera kinematic analysis, and three-dimensional bone modeling using computed tomography. Until now, there have been no radiographic studies that examined the effect of motion control running shoes on the static posture of the foot. Murley et al devised a reliable system that correlated noninvasive clinical examinations to radiographic values that correspond to foot pronation. The aim of this prospective investigation was to determine whether motion control running shoes are able to produce a significant difference in pronation through a radiographic study, using the angular relationships as described by Murley et al, in two different shoe conditions as compared to the barefoot condition in female subjects.
This prospective study screened 28 female subjects ranging in age from 22 to 27 years on the basis of arch height index. The 24 subjects with a standing arch height index less than 0.370 were invited to participate in the study. Unilateral weightbearing dorsoplantar and lateral foot radiographs were taken in barefoot, neutral shoe, and motion control shoe conditions. Calcaneal inclination angle, calcaneal–first metatarsal (CFMA) angle, talonavicular coverage angle (TNCA), and talus–second metatarsal angle were measured in each condition by two independent observers using the Opal-Ortho PACS software package and then averaged. Angles were compared to barefoot baseline values using paired t tests.
The motion control running shoe produced average decreases of 2.64% in CFMA, 12.62% in TNCA, 5.3% in talus–second metatarsal angle and an average increase of 1.3% in calcaneal inclination angle. Statistically significant (P > .05) improvements in CFMA were noted in both the motion control (P < .000) and neutral shoe conditions (P < .000) when compared to barefoot, whereas TNCA improved only in the motion control shoe condition as compared to barefoot (P = .003).
This investigation found evidence that the particular models of motion control running shoes studied could correct foot pronation in the transverse and sagittal planes in stance. Motion control running shoes improved CFMA and TNCA from the barefoot condition and were more effective in correcting pronation compared with neutral running shoes in this radiographic study simulating static foot posture in stance.
Background: Studies on the sensory perception of mass mostly focus on the hands rather than the feet. The aim of our study is to measure how accurately runners can perceive additional shoe mass in comparison to a control shoe (CS) while running, and moreover, whether there is a learning effect in the perception of mass. Indoor running shoes were categorized as a CS (283 g) and shoes with four additional masses: shoe 2 (+50 g), shoe 3 (+150 g), shoe 4 (+250 g), and shoe 5 (+315 g).
Methods: There were 22 participants in the experiment, which was divided into two sessions. In session 1, participants ran on a treadmill for 2 min with the CS and then put on one set of weighted shoes and ran for another 2 min at a preferred velocity. A binary question was used after the pair test. This process was repeated for all the shoes to compare them with the CS.
Results: Based on our statistical analysis (mixed effect logistic regression), the independent variable (ie, mass) did have a significant effect on perceived mass (F 4,193 = 10.66, P < .0001), whereas repeating the task did not show a significant learning effect (F 1,193 = 1.06, P = .30).
Conclusions: An increase of 150 g is the just-noticeable difference among other weighted shoes and the Weber fraction is equal to 0.53 (150:283 g). Learning effect did not improve by repeating the task in two sessions in the same day. This study facilitates our understanding about sense of force and enhances multibody simulation in running.
Background: Perceived acceptability of barefoot use has largely been ignored in the literature despite its importance to long-term implementation and behavior change. This study aimed to compare the acceptability of undertaking weightbearing physical activities in regular running shoes versus barefoot in habitually shod individuals.
Methods: Healthy young men and women were recruited from the Gold Coast. Participants completed six activities (ie, lunges, walking, jogging, sidestep, vertical jump, and hop) in shod and barefoot conditions then answered questions pertaining to level and source of discomfort, ease of performance, and acceptability. Indices of bone quality were measured from their dominant calcaneus by quantitative ultrasound.
Results: Seventeen healthy male (n = 8) and female (n = 9) university students participated in the study (age, 26.59 ± 7.26 years; body mass index, 23.08 ± 3.58 kg/m2). Men were taller, heavier, and had higher broadband ultrasound attenuation than women (P < .05). For “no” discomfort, “very easy” ease of performance, and a “good amount” or “very good amount” of acceptability, the shod condition demonstrated response rates of 87.25%, 55.88%, and 72.55%, respectively. The barefoot condition demonstrated rates of those responses of 62.75%, 39.22%, and 48.03%, respectively, and reported more ball-of-foot, forefoot, heel, and plantar skin locations as sources of discomfort during activity than in the shod condition. The group vertical jump height was higher barefoot than shod (44.88 ± 8.44 cm and 43.25 ± 8.76 cm, respectively; P < .05), but no difference was seen for the hop. Men jumped and hopped higher than women under both footwear conditions (P < .05).
Conclusions: Participants initiating barefoot weightbearing exercise may experience slightly greater discomfort and less ease of performance in the initial transition from the shod condition, but may perform better in vertical jump. Whether those differences in experience persist over the long term will require longitudinal studies.
Barefoot running is slowly gaining a dedicated following. Proponents of barefoot running claim many benefits, such as improved performance and reduced injuries, whereas detractors warn of the imminent risks involved.
Multiple publications were reviewed using key words.
A review of the literature uncovered many studies that have looked at the barefoot condition and found notable differences in gait and other parameters. These findings, along with much anecdotal information, can lead one to extrapolate that barefoot runners should have fewer injuries, better performance, or both. Several athletic shoe companies have designed running shoes that attempt to mimic the barefoot condition and, thus, garner the purported benefits of barefoot running.
Although there is no evidence that either confirms or refutes improved performance and reduced injuries in barefoot runners, many of the claimed disadvantages to barefoot running are not supported by the literature. Nonetheless, it seems that barefoot running may be an acceptable training method for athletes and coaches who understand and can minimize the risks. (J Am Podiatr Med Assoc 101(3): 231–246, 2011)
Background: The calcaneus is the bone of the foot that first receives the impact of running, generating vibrations that might have a positive effect in modifying the trabecular bone mass. The objective of this study was to determine the variation in calcaneal bone density in runners during a 6-month training season, comparing it with a control sample.
Methods: Bone density of the heel was measured in 33 male recreational runners by means of a contact ultrasonic bone analyzer. Measurements were made on three occasions during a training season: at the beginning, at 350 km, and at 700 km. All of the runners wore the same model of running shoes during this period. Measurements of bone density were also made in a control sample of 62 men who did not engage in physical exercise.
Results: There was a significant decrease in mean calcaneal bone density over the course of the training season (from 86.1 dB/MHz to 83.2 dB/MHz; P = .006), but no significant differences with the control sample value (from 80.7 dB/MHz to 81.1 dB/MHz; P = .314). The runners' body composition changed during the study period, with lean mass increasing and fat mass decreasing.
Conclusions: Distance running seems to have a negative effect on calcaneal bone mass density during the course of a 700-km training season.
The history and prosthetic difficulties of a patient with an unusual Chopart amputation variant have been presented. Although it is possible for the Chopart amputee to walk with just a shoe and filler, this patient does best with a formal prosthesis. The Chopart amputation, which has been surgically stabilized with Achilles tendon lengthening to prevent equinus contractures, can be fitted successfully with a lightweight circumferential plastic or silicone prosthesis or more traditionally with a solid ankle foot orthosis with filler. This partial foot prosthesis is worn with a sturdy shoe with a rocker and solid ankle cushion heel or a well constructed running shoe. The Chopart amputee with equinus contractures must be fitted with a Chopart clamshell prosthesis or solid ankle patellar tendon bearing orthosis with filler and the above shoe prescription. Recent variants of the partial foot prosthesis including the Imler partial foot prosthesis, the Lange silicone prosthesis, and the ankle corset prosthesis were described.