The stiff plate location into the shoe influences the running biomechanics

  • Flores Nicolas
  • Rao Guillaume
  • Berton Eric
  • Delattre Nicolas

  • Footwear
  • Shoe design
  • Longitudinal bending stiffness
  • Running speed
  • Lower limb joint

ART

The changes in running biomechanics induced by an increased longitudinal bending stiffness (stiff plates added into the shoes) have been well investigated, but little is known concerning the effects of the stiff plate location into the shoe on running biomechanics. Fourteen male recreational runners ran at two participant-specific running speeds (3.28 ± 0.28 m/s and 4.01 ± 0.27 m/s) with two shoe conditions where a stiff plate was added either in high (under the insole) or low location (between the midsole and outsole). Ground reaction forces, lower limb joint angles, net joint torques and work, as well as alignment between the resultant ground reaction force and the leg were analysed. Among the running speeds performed by the runners, the high location significantly decreased propulsive ground reaction forces, increased metatarsophalangeal joint dorsiflexion and ankle plantarflexion, induced an increased alignment between the resultant ground reaction force and the runner’s leg, thus decreasing all the lower limb joint torques and the positive work at the knee joint compared to the low location. The results suggested that the high stiff plate location into the shoe should be considered for running performance perspectives, but care should be taken to not alter the perceived comfort and/or increase injury risks.