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SportsMedUpdate
  1. Martin P Schwellnus
  1. Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

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Different shoes (running shoes, racing flats and spikes) alter biomechanical variables in runners – differences between the running shoes were greater in male compared with female athletes.

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Background

Distance runners use a variety of shoes during training and competition – these shoes may affect running biomechanics, and therefore the risk of injury.

Research question/s

In distance runners, are there any differences in biomechanical variables (ground reaction forces) between running shoes, racing flats and distance spikes?

Methodology

Subjects: 20 intercollegiate distance runners (males=10, 21.6±3.0 years; females=10, 20.0±1.5 years).

Experimental procedure: All the subjects were assessed and then ran across a force plate (males at 6.7 m/s and females at 5.7 m/s) in each of the three types of shoes (running shoes – RS, racing flats – RF and distance spikes – DS) in a randomised fashion. Only subjects who exhibited a heel strike were included in the data analysis.

Measures of outcome: Differences between shoe types and between genders for peak vertical impact force (BW), loading rate (BW/s), stance time (s), vertical stiffness (BW/m), peak braking force (BW).

Main finding/s

Stance times were shorter and maximum propulsion forces were greater in racing flats compared to running shoes in females.

Conclusion/s

Different shoes (running shoes, racing flats and spikes) alter biomechanical variables in runners – differences between the running shoes were greater in male compared with female athletes.

Evidence-based rating: 7/10

Clinical interest rating: 7/10

Type of study: Randomised, controlled, clinical …

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