Q4E Case Study 32 – The effect of shoe type on long distance running gait.
Proposed subject useage
Sports Science / Mathematics
This case study is an in-depth athlete specific analysis of running gait, using only one Quintic High-Speed USB3 Camera. It is specifically focused on the athletes Left Leg vs Right Leg kinematic similarity as well as the influence of different style running shoes on their gait.
The comparison between barefoot and shod running is an area which has been frequently explored in the literature (Hall et al., 2013). However this comparison involves the two extremes, whereas comparing a cushioned trainer and a minimally cushioned trainer is a much more common consumer decision. It is typical for runners to do the majority of their training mileage in their more cushioned shoe, leaving their minimally cushioned, “faster” shoe for races and race pace workouts. “Racing flats” have been found to inflict a significantly greater peak pressure, maximum force and contact area in comparison to a more cushioned “training shoe” (Wiegerinck et al. 2009).
By doing the bulk of your mileage with a more cushioned training shoe, it is believed that this will limit the level of loading. Despite this, the evidence suggesting shoes with more cushioning reduce the frequency of running related injuries is limited (Theisen et al. 2016). It must also be considered that if shoe type is altering an athlete’s gait, by doing the majority of their training with a different gait to that in a race, are they limiting their performance?
All data was collected on a single amateur runner with a forefoot/midfoot strike running style. The participant’s injury history within the 12 months prior to the study included ankle sprains due to under pronation and a period of shin splints (Tibial Stress Syndrome).
The cushioned shoe that was used within this study was the Nike Lunarstelos (Appendix A). It is a road running shoe with a neutral arch support, intended for daily road running. By present standards a medium weight shoe at 264 grams, this shoe has a relatively large heel to toe drop of 10mm and therefore carries some additional weight in the heel cushioning. For a forefoot/midfoot striking runner this adds unnecessary excess weight and could also be influencing the participant’s gait.
The racing flat shoe that was used within this study was the Nike Streak LT 3 (Appendix B). It is also a road running shoe with a neutral arch support but is intended for competition use. It is a light shoe at only 150 grams, the majority of this weight difference is down to its minimal outsole cushioning with a heel to toe drop of only 4mm.
Retroreflective 2D markers were placed on the Lateral Hip, Knee, Ankle, 5thMetatarsal and Toe, for both the Right and Left Leg, as shown in Figure 1. The Quintic High Speed 1.3 MP Camera with an 8 – 48 mm zoom lens was set up 17 metres perpendicular to the running lane. All videos were recorded at 250 frames per second with an image size of 1280×650. All the data was collected during one session and the same camera placement was used for all recorded videos, as shown in Figure 1. 10 videos for left view and 10 videos for right view were recorded for each shoe type. The participant was advised to run at 10km race pace and the repetition length was self-selected by the participant.