Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biomechanics of running & mechanics of shoes: PART I

This is part I of my forthcoming article on shoe mechanics & running biomechanics (may be published in this site within 10 days). this part introduces how a properly designed may help in reducing injuries, also how mechanical considarations may revolutionize the running gait biomechnics and the sunning sports?

The Human Performance Laboratory in Calgary, Canada, concluded that shoe design:

1. Increases rotational ankle movement, notably plantar flexion and foot inversion (particularly in the first half of ground contact)
2. Decreases ankle joint impulses for the knee joint, which means that the knee has to withstand fewer repetitive rotational stresses (27%reduction)
3. Increases the user’s oxygen consumption by 2.5%
4. Increases movement of the ‘centre of pressure’ during standing, which allows force to be dissipated across a greater area of the foot. (High forces going through small cross-sectional areas of the foot are strongly linked to an increase in injury incidence with repetitive foot strikes over prolonged periods.)

Based on these findings, the researchers report that the shoe strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the foot and ankle complex, while reducing loading through the ankle joint.

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