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Comparison of ankle injury rates in boots and shoes

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by Meanderthal, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. Meanderthal

    Meanderthal Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    In the hiking and backpacking community the accepted wisdom is that walking boots provide more ankle support than trail shoes and thereby reduce the risk of ankle injury. However, I can find no evidence to back up this claim.

    Does anyone know of any studies comparing the incidences of ankle injuries in boots and shoes, whether they be walking boots/trail shoes, sport specific boots/shoes, or even standard/fashion boots/shoes?

    I've been asked to write an article on footwear for a walking magazine, and I want to be sure that the article is based on scientific evidence rather than accepted wisdom as there's always the possibility that 'accepted wisdom' is neither accepted nor particularly wise.

    Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.
  2. Trent Baker

    Trent Baker Active Member

    I'm not aware of any research specifically into hiking boots and ankle injury, although I'm sure they are around. However Dr Vivienne Chuter at Newcastle University recently carried out a study on camparing STJ pronation in several types of shoes, from runners to elastic sided work boots. Perhaps there is some info there which might be of interest. Vivienne may have covered lateral ankle injury in that also, not sure.

    Hope this helps a little.

  3. Meanderthal

    Meanderthal Member


    When I started my search I too was sure that there would be some research into hiking boots/trail shoes and ankle injury, but I haven't come across even a hint of any -not even from the manufacturers of walking footwear themselves. Presumably, the manufacturers are conducting tests of such things, but if they are they're certainly not being forthcoming with the results. Even if they were being forthcoming, I'd have to take all their claims with a pinch of salt as they obviously have a vested interest in presenting only positive results. That's why I've been desperately searching for objective scientific studies.

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of Dr Vivienne Chuter's work. I've come across her name several times in my research, but on your advice I'll concentrate more closely on her work.

  4. Trent Baker

    Trent Baker Active Member

    That surprises me, however as I've not really looked for the research I'll take your word for it. It seems you havea bit of a task in front of you then.

    I know an exercise physiologist who runs the schoold of Recreational Health at Blue Mountains TAFE, NSW. He's a pretty knowledgeable character who is very invloved with hiking and has done some research in a few related areas. I'll ask him if he knows of any research on hiking boots and ankle injury.

  5. Brian Ralph

    Brian Ralph Welcome New Poster

    During the 70's and 80's the Israeli Army did a number of research projects on the effects of different types of foot wear on injury rates. This included both recruits and trained soldiers wearing a range of foot wear from athletic shoes, ankle boots and calf boots. The articles should be on older copies of JAPA.
  6. Prevalence, not incidence :craig:
  7. Meanderthal

    Meanderthal Member


    Thanks. I'll be most interested to hear what your exercise physiologist friend has to say on the subject, especially as he's a hiker himself.


    Forgive my ignorance as I'm not a podiatrist, but what is JAPA? The nearest relevant acronym I can find is JAPMA, the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association. Is this what you were referring to?


    Your emoticon can tear its hair out all it likes, but incidence is still the right word. If I'd used the word prevalence I'd have been asking how widespread ankle injuries in boots and shoes were in a particular area at a particular time. Incidence means simply the ocurrence, rate or frequency of an undesirable thing. My only error was to write it as a plural.
  8. So the published studies you requested don't report data from a particular sample at a particular time then? i.e. the prevalence. The only way to find the incidence would be to have data for the entire population. Anyway you're obviously too clever to need any further assistance from me.
  9. Meanderthal

    Meanderthal Member


    While not wishing to turn this into a grammar forum, I can't let this one go (and it seems that you can't either).

    If I'd asked specifically for information on the rate of ankle injuries in boots and shoes in, say, Rochdale in July of 1972, then prevalence would have been the appropriate word to use. However, I made no mention of a particular time or place as I have no interest in where or when the studies took place. I'm requesting information from any time or place. Therefore incidence was the right word to use.

    To insist that the word incidence pertains only to data for the entire population is to constrain the word with a definition that no dictionary supports.

    There is perhaps a more important point here, though. Regardless of whether I'd used the word prevalence or incidence, everybody would have understood me. If I'd read a post of yours in which you'd used the word prevalence incorrectly, but I'd understood your point, it would never have crossed my mind to post a reply correcting your grammar.

    My knowledge of podiatry is limited, but I'm interested in learning more. That's why I posted my question on this forum. I want to pick the brains of experts. If I want advice on grammar I'll visit another forum.

    You end your post by writing that I'm obviously too clever to need any further assistance from you. The assistance I asked for related to podiatry, not grammar, and you still haven't answered my question: do you know of any such studies?
  10. However, the studies report data from a specific cohort at a specific point in time. Hence, they are reporting upon the prevalence. And you asked:

    So we may have to agree to disagree.

    No, I don't know of any studies comparing incidence. Yes, I do know of some such studies comparing prevalence.
  11. Meanderthal

    Meanderthal Member


    So you're telling me that right from the start you knew of some relevant studies, but you chose not to share that information with me because I didn't phrase my question in a way that suits your own personal rules of grammar?

    I really don't know how to respond to that fact.

    I have to admit that I'm truly flummoxed by such an attitude, and not a little saddened.

    I think it's perhaps best if we draw a line under this little episode and forget all about it.

    Anyway, back to the reason that I started this post in the first place.


    While looking at the the website of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association, I noticed that before 1985 the magazine was called the Journal of the American Podiatry Association. So I guess that answers my question about the acronym JAPA. l searched the archives from 1970-1989, and the title of article that most closely resembles your description is 'Podiatric medicine in today's military: Army' in the July 1977 edition of the magazine. I don't suppose you can remember whether that's the right article, can you?

    Also, it appears that there isn't any access to articles published before 1989. Does anyone know how I can get hold of pre-1989 JAPA articles?
  12. Scorpio622

    Scorpio622 Active Member


    I don't know of any studies but for whatever it's worth to you, clinically I have recommended the Lowa Men's Tectrek GTX and found that it is as supportive as an Arizona brace. Nobody is spraining their ankle in this boot. Unfortunately the company discontinued the model due to poor sales (I'm sure price had something to do with it - $250 US )

    By the way, both you and Simon are partially correct- the correct word is previncidence ;)
  13. Meanderthal

    Meanderthal Member


    Did you recommend the Lowa Tectrek solely to those with existing ankle injuries, or did you also recommend it to those wishing to prevent ankle injury?

    In either case, could I ask what led you to use them in the first place. Did someone else recommend them to you, or did you read anything suggesting that they would work in the way you described?

    By the way, I like your approach to conflict resolution. Previncidence it is, then.
  14. Scorpio622

    Scorpio622 Active Member

    I used it mainly for Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction due to its stabilizing properties. In kind, I did recommend it to hikers with ankle instability. I learned of these boots via word of mouth as well as a posted recommendation on this forum. Many patients could not find/afford this model, so I recommended a hiking boot with a stiff upper.

    I always thought a study comparing the stabilizing effect of an Arizona Brace or MAFO to a stiff hiking boot with foot orthotic would be worthwhile.



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