Effect of shoe type on plantar pressure: a gender comparison.
Despite the differences in materials, racing flats have begun to be used not only for racing, but also for daily training. As there are data suggesting a gender difference in overuse injuries in runners, shoe choice may affect loading patterns during running. The purpose was to determine differences in plantar pressure between genders when running in training shoes and racing flats. In-shoe plantar pressure data were collected from 34 subjects (17m, 17f) who ran over-ground in both a racing flat and training shoe. Contact area (CA), maximum force (MF), and contact time under the entire foot and beneath eight foot regions were collected. Each variable was analyzed using a shoe by gender repeated measures ANOVA (alpha=0.05). In men, MF was increased in the racing flats (p=0.016) beneath the medial midfoot (MMF), yet was increased beneath the medial forefoot (MFF) in the training shoe (p=0.018). Independent of gender, CA was decreased in the racing flats beneath the entire foot (p=0.029), the MMF (p=0.013), and the MFF (p=0.030), and increased beneath the lateral forefoot (LFF) (p=0.023). In the racing flats, MF was increased beneath the entire foot (p<0.001) and the LFF (p<0.001). Independent of the shoe, CA was decreased in men beneath the MFF (p=0.007) and middle forefoot (p<0.001), while MF was increased in the LFF (p=0.002). The LFF is an area of increased stress fracture risk in men. Based on the gender differences in loading, running shoe design should be gender specific in an attempt to prevent injuries.
Queen, RM; Abbey, AN; Wiegerinck, JI; Yoder, JC; Nunley, JA
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