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  1. Professor Martin P Schwellnus
  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa

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    Effect of neutral-cushioned running shoes on plantar pressure loading and comfort in athletes with cavus feet

    ▸ Wegener C, Burns J, Penkala S. Am J Sports Med 2008;36:2139–46.


    Pes cavus (high arched foot) is associated with increased risk of injuries, presumably due to poor shock absorption — therefore, shock absorbing footwear (soft neutral shoes) is recommended for these patients.

    Research question/s:

    Do neutral-cushioned running shoes reduce in-shoe plantar pressure loading and improve comfort during running in athletes with cavus feet?


    Subjects: 22 athletes (men = 16, 70.8+10.7 kg), with cavus feet (using the Foot Posture Index).

    Experimental procedure: All the runners were assessed and then performed overground running trials during which comfort (VAS) and plantar pressures were measured (in-shoe Novel Pedar-X system). Trials were randomised by footwear (a control condition — Dunlop Volley (Dunlop) shoe — and two neutral-cushioned running shoes (Asics Nimbus 6 — Asics, and Brooks Glycerin 3 — Brooks).

    Measures of outcome: Peak pressure (kPa) and pressure time integral (kPa.s) (whole foot, forefoot, midfoot, rearfoot), comfort (VAS).

    Main finding/s:

    Both peak pressure and pressure time integrals were significantly reduced by wearing neutral-cushioned running shoes.

    Comfort: the Asics Nimbus shoe was rated the most comfortable shoe — both neutral-cushioned running shoes were significantly more comfortable than the control shoe (p<0.001).


    In runners with pes cavus, neutral running shoes significantly reduce …

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