Effects of Shoe Sole Construction on Skeletal Motion During Running

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Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to quantify effects of shoe sole modification on skeletal kinematics of the calcaneus and tibia during the stance phase of running.

Methods: Intracortical bone pins with reflective marker triads were inserted under standard local anesthetic into the calcaneus and tibia of five healthy male subjects. The three-dimensional tibiocalcaneal rotations were determined using a joint coordinate system approach. Three shoe sole modifications were tested with different sole geometry: a lateral heel flare of 25° (flared), no flare 0° (straight), and a rounded sole.

Results: The results showed that these shoe sole modifications did not change tibiocalcaneal rotations substantially. The shoe sole effects at the bone level were small and unsystematic (mean effects being less than 1°) compared with the differences between the subjects (up to 7°). Shoe eversion measured simultaneously with shoe markers showed no systematic shoe sole effects. A comparison of shoe and bone results showed the total shoe eversion and maximum shoe eversion velocity to be approximately twice as large as the respective measurements based on bone markers (correlations being r = 0.79 for maximum eversion velocity; r = 0.88 for total eversion), indicating that there may be a relationship or coupling effect between the shoes and the bone.

Conclusions: It is concluded that the tibiocalcaneal kinematics of running may be individually unique and that shoe sole modifications may not be able to change them substantially.