Scientific Validation

The effect of a textured shoe insert on running gait 

International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health

Dr. Andrew Hatchett, Charles Allen Ph.D and Marzania Smith

 

Study Overview:

A 2017 study published in the International Journal of Physical Education, Sports and Health looked at the effect of a textured shoe insert on running gait. In this study the ShoeCue was used in the experimental test condition as the textured insert.  The study stated that "the [textured] insert condition leads to a shift in shod running gait spatial and temporal characteristics to be more similar to a barefoot running condition.”

 

Link to full study

 

Abstract:

“The aim of this research was to determine the influence a shoe insert with a textured, thermos-plastic heel has on running gait. Sixteen (16) participants completed a three-stage protocol to assess step length, contact time and gait imbalance in barefoot, shod and shod with insert conditions. Results indicated significant correlations between the barefoot condition and shod with the insert condition for contact time (r=0.773, p=0.015), imbalance (r=0.838, p=0.005) and step length (r=1.000, p=0.000). Further analysis revealed no significant difference between the barefoot and shod with the insert conditions for contact time, imbalance and step length. Based upon these results, running with a textured, thermos-plastic insert may influence a runner’s gait to more resemble that of a barefoot condition.”

 

Methods overview:

Test subjects: 16 college aged recreationally active volunteers.

Protocol: Each subject ran on a treadmill in 3 conditions: barefoot, wearing regular running shoes, and wearing regular running shoes with a textured insole (ShoeCue).

Data collections: Treadmill was equipped with Optogait optical sensor to accurately measure ground contact time, imbalance (gait asymmetry), and stride length.

 

Results:

“The aim of this study was to observe the time of contact, step length and imbalance during barefoot, shod and shod with a sole insert conditions at a self-selected speed in recreationally trained runners. Results revealed the condition of shod with a sole insert displayed significant correlational relationships to the barefoot condition for the variables of contact time and step length. Additionally, the shod condition and barefoot condition were found to be significantly correlated in step length. Upon further analysis, no statistically significant difference was observed between contact time and step length between the barefoot condition and the shod with insert condition. There was a statistically significant difference observed between the shod condition and barefoot condition when examining step length. These results demonstrate that the insert condition leads to a shift in shod running gait spatial and temporal characteristics to be more similar to a barefoot running condition.”

 

Conclusion:

“Each area assessed in this research (contact time, step length and imbalance) is known to be associated with running gait. These results indicate that the use of a shoe insert with a [textured and] thermoplastic heel may influence the gait of a runner to the point of resembling that of a barefoot condition (less contact time, shorter step length and less imbalance). This may reduce the likelihood of injury, while increasing the efficiency of movement. The use of a shoe insert with a textured thermoplastic heel-plate may lead to a modified gait pattern in recreational runners more closely resembling a barefoot condition when compared to a purely shod condition. Further research should be conducted to account for the limitations mentioned above and in athletes of different training volumes, goals and experience.”

Andrew Hatchett, Charles Allen and Marzania Smith. The effect of a textured shoe insert on running gait. 2017; 4(6): 91-95.

 

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