The Influence of Running Shoes on the Biomechanics of the Foot and Lower Limb

PhD Thesis

Langley, Ben 2015. The Influence of Running Shoes on the Biomechanics of the Foot and Lower Limb. PhD Thesis University of East London Health, Sports and Bioscience
AuthorsLangley, Ben
TypePhD Thesis

Running shoes are designed to reduce injury risk and enhance performance. In line with traditional running injury paradigms running shoes aim to reduce the magnitude and/or rate of foot motion and impact loading. While numerous studies have explored the influence of different shoe modifications upon these parameters, limited work has explored how different types of conventional running shoe influence foot and lower limb kinematics. Therefore the overarching aim of this thesis was to determine the influence of different types of running shoe on shod foot and lower limb motion during running.
Twenty-eight active males (26 ± 7years, 1.77 ± 0.05m, 79 ± 9kg) participated in the main phase of testing. Participants ran in three types of running shoe (motion control, neutral and cushioned) at a self-selected pace, on a treadmill. Three-dimensional lower limb and inter-segmental foot kinematics were calculated from the position of retro-reflective markers tracked by a VICON motion analysis system. Incisions were made within the right shoe to accommodate direct tracking of shod foot motion. The incision parameters were validated in preliminary work. One-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Freidman’s ANOVA were used to explore differences between footwear conditions.
Significant differences in lower limb and foot kinematics were reported at the knee, ankle, midfoot-rearfoot, forefoot-rearfoot and medial longitudinal arch (MLA). Motion control shoes significantly reduced midfoot-rearfoot eversion and MLA deformation compared to neutral and cushioned shoes. Cushioned shoes significantly reduced ankle joint eversion compared to the motion control shoe.
The findings of this thesis provide novel information regarding the influence of motion control, neutral and cushioned running shoes upon foot and lower limb kinematics, and further develop means of modelling the shod foot. Overall the findings of this thesis demonstrate the efficacy of running shoes to reduce the magnitude of foot motion.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Publication dates
PrintAug 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited09 May 2016
Publisher's version
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