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

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In a randomised, controlled, clinical trial, running shoe assignment according to plantar arch did not influence injury risk in military recruits undergoing 12 weeks training even after considering other injury risk factors

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Running shoe manufacturers designed and marketed running shoes according to motion control, stability and cushioning – the practice is to assign shoes according to plantar shapes (low, normal and high) and this is done in order to reduce the risk of injuries.

Research question/s

Does the practice of assigning running shoes according to plantar shape reduce the risk of injury during Marine Corps basic training?


  • Subjects: 1411 Marine Corps recruits.

  • Experimental procedure: All the subjects were assessed (including a questionnaire and foot examinations to determine plantar shape (low, medium or high arches)). Subjects were then randomly assigned to either (1) a group that was provided with motion control, stability or cushioned shoes depending on plantar shape (experimental (EXP) group, males=408, females=314) or (2) a control group (CON group, males=432, females=257) that received …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.