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Cushioned heel running shoes may alter adolescent biomechanics, performance

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by NewsBot, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.


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    Press Release:
    Cushioned heel running shoes may alter adolescent biomechanics, performance
  2. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Here is the abstract from the conference:

    The Effect of Training Shoes upon Running Kinematics
    Scott M. Mullen, MD, Kansas City, Kansas & E B. Toby, MD, Kansas City, Kansas
    AAOS Annual Conference 2013
  3. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Adolescent Runners: The Effect of Training Shoes upon Running Kinematics :

    It would have been good if there was mention of the actual heel to forefoot pitch of the shoes used - surely they would have done this (&/or provide the models used so we can look up for ourselves). Also would be good if the graphs were in colour (for me at least) in the cited page.

    Anyway, it is a good study, interesting results.

    I suppose then, going by the results we can say that the higher heel to forefoot pitch shoe does influence footstrike patterns (i.e. exacerbate heel striking)... which may adversely affect injury threshold as well as performance (i.e. time trial/race times)... going by the following study... Forefoot running improves pain and disability associated with chronic exertional compartment syndrome.
  4. Please tell me how the authors concluded this from their abstract:

    Sounds like it was written by a barefoot/minimalist shoe fan or one of Chris McDougall's disciples to me. Since when has heel striking running ever been shown to be "detrimental to performance"?
  5. and this :confused:

    So the study found what would have been expected ........ and then some leads to so headline grabbing statements from the author and conclusions.

    when will people learn
  6. Agreed. They could have equally concluded that forefoot strike running may be detrimental to performance on the basis of their study, yet chose to show their own biases within this abstract.
  7. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I very much doubt that Dr Kev... hardly a fair assessment of the following piece you appear to have issue with...
    Besides, this very issue was discussed in another paper just recently... in the following linked thread started by yourself only a few days ago. Of which you highlighted a paper authored by a friend (Guy Leahy) of yours... Should Tactical Athletes Run Barefoot?

    Where the following can be found on p.12...

    Putting aside the "caveat": here is research (13): Foot strike and injury rates in endurance runners: a retrospective study.
    ... & research (17): Forefoot running improves pain and disability associated with chronic exertional compartment syndrome.

    Well, I suppose it depends on how you interpret... "detrimental to performance". The issue is multifactorial & there are other important issues at play other than footstrike patterns. However, there appears to be a consensus that “more research is needed”... & (assumed) biases from scientists/researchers, clinicians & lay people should be put aside. Even the article you endorsed, cited & made subject of a thread (authored by Guy Leahy) finished with the following statement...
    Personally, I see “barefoot” as a tool – a (part time) training tool... on softer (known safe) surfaces. Racing on wet/muddy cross country courses may be the exception as far as races is concerned – yet look at any World Cross Country Championships where the best distance runners in the world are found (& usually on a grass course) & most will be wearing a shoe of some type (i.e. a spike or low profile/light “racing flat”).
  8. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    All those ultramarathoners racing in the Hoka One Ones are not thinking that its detrimental to performance!
    Retrospective; smallish; not general runners, almost elite level (discussed here). Also ignores this on typical runners:
    no control group. Discussed here and I also wrote about it on my new blog
  9. Athol Thomson

    Athol Thomson Active Member

    Great work on the blog Craig. Really informative and well thought out!

  10. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    Great discussion here, what really interests me is why Hokas are working so well. Is it the increased cushioning, the wider straight last, or the lower heel-to-toe differential? Most likely a combination of all three is my guess. Another point which evokes my interest is whether or not there will be long term adverse affects to running in Hokas as opposed to "minimal" and "normal" runners. While many have seen the short term benefits of added cushioning I wonder will this cause an over reliance on said cushioning? Thanks to this site I have seen some of the research which has shown that running shoes do not weaken the foot over time but can a maximally cushioned shoe have other adverse affects?

    I have seen a lot of research on barefoot vs minimal vs shoes but has anything been done with regards to Hokas? In my opinion there is nothing on the market like them, (perhaps some MBTS which I'm unaware of) and they could be the answer to a lot of people's prayers. Be interesting to see if more brands will follow suit like they did with the increase in minimal options and introduce more "maximal" options.
  11. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    I don't think ultra-marathoners are a prime example of performance based activity. For the nature of their event most do nowhere need the level training needed to take the event seriously. Most (in fact all I know) train less than a teenage middle distance runner (< 80km week). For most the event is a "war of attrition", tenacity & a sense of achieving (which is great) a long distance event (< 50km, 100km+)... with a much larger element of the event spent walking (compared to other running races). To be honest, I have never really taken the ultra-marathoners seriously, probably in part as the result of my running background (middle distance - marathon). With that said, I do respect them & think it's great they are committing to the exercise but I certainly wouldn't consider wearing "Hoka One" based on the perceived traits of this small group (I would probably kiss any chance of a PB/PR away wearing theses for the events I do i.e. marathon). Maybe it's a case for "horses for courses" (???), which still leaves a can of worms. Anyway, now that I've put my head on the :butcher: on this issue... the next...

    Thanks for highlighting the problems with the 2 articles cited... & there are issues with the article of the subject of this thread as well - but do you feel we can’t take anything away from the 3 articles in question here? Do you (& others) feel concerned about the quality of research/science carried out in this area? I know this issue has been discussed in the past (i.e. bad science thread). But do you (& others) really feel there is a minimalist/barefoot agenda (bias) behind the likes of the above 3 research papers? (as alluded to in previous posts). I don't know these researchers but I very much doubt there is a vested interest that would cause them to jeopardise their academic/research integrity - particularly not to the extent that appears to be happening in this area of research (running injuries/economy).

    I was not aware of your blog (struggle enough with the time I have) but from just skimming over the material you do appear to raise similar sentiments... what are we clinicians to do when research of this nature comes out. I struggle enough (time) to do a meta analysis of the topic & thus try to objectively take something away from the research I do come across (& put aside the rest). Hence, I suppose your blog may be a valuable resource for those with similar interests & concerns. Maybe there should be a thread/blog that highlights the more credible research in this area (with no agenda/bias from either party).
  12. Twooms

    Twooms Member

  13. We talked about Hoka One One shoes in August 2011 here on Podiatry Arena.


    Here was one of my comments from that thread:

  14. No, Matthew, my assessment was quite fair. Why would the authors assume that heel-striking was detrimental to a runner unless there was some research that showed that heel-striking running was either an unusual way to run or produced more injuries. As Craig has very clearly shown in his reply to you, there is no such research that shows that heel-striking running produces any greater rate of injuries than does forefoot-striking running or midfoot-striking running.

    Therefore, Matthew, any author that then suggests in their research paper that heel-striking running is detrimental must be biased against heel-striking running unless they have some good scientific research to back up their claims. They didn't. They exhibit bias.

    If the authors were truly unbiased then instead of concluding the following:

    "Training in the heavily cushioned trainer by a competitive adolescent runner may be detrimental to performance due to these altered running biomechanics. "

    they should have instead concluded:

    "Since it is unknown whether training in a heavily cushioned trainer by a competitive adolescent runner is detrimental to performance and it is unknown as to which footstrike pattern produces the least injuries for each individual runner, then no conclusions can be made from our research in regard to the best footstrike pattern for competitive adolescent runners."

    I will be a keynote speaker along with Joe Hamill, PhD and Reed Ferber, PhD, in a few weeks at Pedorthic Association of Canada seminar in Montreal. Alison Gruber, PhD will be giving a lecture also at that meeting on her research on "Energetic Consequences of Forefoot and Rearfoot Running".

    Here is an abstract of her presentation for that meeting:

    And here is the abstract for Joe Hamill's keynote presentation at the meeting:

    In addition, it is quite clear now that even habitually barefoot runners predominantly heel strike when one looks at the excellent recent research from Hatala et al (Hatala KG, Dingwall HL, Wunderlich RE, Richmond BG (2013) Variation in Foot Strike Patterns during Running among Habitually Barefoot Populations. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52548. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052548).

  15. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    Would love to be at that conference, sounds like some excellent research being done on an area which greatly interests me. Will they be speaking in Australia at all this year?
  16. CraigT

    CraigT Well-Known Member

    Just a quick question...
    In this study they used a motion capture system to assess point of first contact. Is there a study that actually compares the plantar loading patterns within the shoe? How do we know whether there is actually that much change in loading of the foot?
    There seem to be quite a few assumptions here...
  17. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Dr Kirby, you should know by now that my main cause for concern in this area is the heel to forefoot midsole pitch (i.e. the history & continual presence of the 12mm differential) of running shoes (there was at least two threads we contributed in on this issue) & their potential to influence (adverse) footstrike patterns. I do not specifically advocate/promote one footstrike over another as being better, or have stated one causes more injuries than another. It has been mainly centred around heel to forefoot pitch of which the research paper in question here has association with (i.e. the question: “We wish to answer the question of whether running style is altered in these athletes due to shoe wear only.”)

    You made the following statement of which I thought was not a fair assessment:
    Well the chief researcher was Scott Mullen, MD an orthopaedic surgeon. I just don’t think he & this research fits your assessment of a... “barefoot/minimalist shoe fan or one of Chris McDougall's disciples”. Now I realise you are at the point of being fed up with the poor logic/reasoning expounded by the barefoot “disciples” (I too get fed up at times with it all). However I don’t think it reasonable to paint this research (& others questioning shoe pitch, footwear &/or footstrike patterns) with the same brush. I really can’t imagine an agenda (conspiracy) behind the intentions of this particular paper you disagree with – yes, you may question the methodology & subsequent conclusions (the poor science) but despite the flaws, I think there is still value in the research & subsequently find interesting (as I have this one). Maybe there is something else here (in the background) I'm not aware of (i.e. I am aware of the rift between Orthopaedics & Podiatrists in the US... as well as AUS).

    We need to look at this paper in the context outlaid & of the current foot attire environment (i.e. questioning the structure of traditional training shoes) – as the paper noted... “The modern running shoe typically features a large cushioned heel intended to dissipate the energy at heel strike"... & whether... “foot strike would change in an adolescent". Thus it would stand to reason “heel striking” (& the potential implications thereof) would be analysed & thus questioned...

    Now, this research cited another study (from 2010) where heel striking was questioned & that forefoot striking "may" be "healthier" in the context of running shoe pitch (i.e. "flat- soled shoes"). Contrary to what has been stated in above posts, I don't see the following statements jumping to "bias" conclusions (we need to look at the wording & the context of the assumptions/questions asked)...

    Dr Mullen finished with stating that more research is needed... which would stand to reason in line of the wording used which was clearly raising questions (unsurety) - not making "biased" statements to fulfil an "agenda". Besides, you yourself endorsed an article (from a friend) as subject of another thread which discussed & questioned these same issues. Ironically, it does make me wonder whether the interpretation of the above has been as case for bias (???).

    No Dr Kirby, there was no evidence whatsoever that the paper categorically declared that... "heel-striking running is detrimental". The paper raised questions, hypotheses & subsequently stated more research is needed on the issue - thus not "bias" - just following the inquiring nature of science... questioning a controversial issue as it is, with particular sensitivity to the field of Podiatry (& without me stating it - we all know what that is - yet it need not be that way).

    Some runners are natural heel strikers, if they function better that way – great (there are also very fast/elite runners which are heel strikers). However, some runners are not - they may be natural midfoot runners (there are also very fast/elite runners which are midfoot strikers). That said, I use all three foot strikes depending on the gradient/direction of incline - if running downhill, I will predominantly heel strike; if running uphill, I will predominantly forefoot strike; & if running on level ground, I will predominantly mid foot strike. Yet there is the possibility that some of these runners (i.e. natural midfooters) may be influenced heel strikers based on the shoe structure which has been present for about 30 years - which could be contributing to problems (more research needed). However, there are a whole lot more other aspects to the cause of running injuries (which is the underlying crux of the whole topic) than how one places their feet - I just think it wise we remove any potential adverse influencing factors which could play a part in influencing the injury threshold level (shoes & their midsole pitch I feel is just one part of the equation). Orthotic therapy will always be an integral part in helping the biomechanically challenged to partake in activities they enjoy & keep fit by in order of offsetting their injury threshold.

    I also have no big issue with footwear cushioning (unlike someone else here) - I feel the cushioning aspect could be a variable one depending on the running surface a duration of the running event (as well as the individual's weight). Hence the potential for a new paradigm of footwear prescription (?). That said, "Hoka One One" for the likes of myself is going overboard... just as a thin soled minimalist shoe would be for another human.

    Hmmm... the wording you perceive leading to biases. Well, that's fair enough - here is how I may have articulated the conclusion in the following quote (red is my input; bold underlines are the key words that were already presented)...
    Hence, I think we can all agree (including the paper/researchers in question) - more research is needed.

    Besides, it appears that some traditional shoe companies are taking the issue of midsole pitch rather seriously – particularly Saucony – not only bringing out low pitch models but also lowering their whole range. Brooks are following in a similar line with bringing out the PureProject (then there is also New Balance, & of cause Nike). Now I haven’t had time to look into this – but where are they getting their reasoning from?

    Sorry for the length (i.e. needed to help offset the chance of potential misinterpretation via adding detail).
  18. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    Do not know about Australia, but Joe, Reed, Benno Nigg and myself will be fronting up in Doha, Qatar in very early September if you feel like some desert air! Run at Aspetar where Craig Tanner lives... it should be a great meeting.. really looking forward to it!
  19. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thanks for highlighting this – I assumed it could create an issue (& I can see why – hence the use of this guy... “:butcher:”). Firstly I did say “most” not “all”. Perhaps we do move in different circles but from my experience many just don’t seem to be committed to their ultra-distance event when comparing athletes from shorter events. When I was a middle distance runner I was training twice a day & reaching up to 150km/week. I do not see or hear the “majority” of ultra-marathoners committing to this (despite the far greater distance). Now that I am a distance runner (10km to marathon) I can train twice a day running up to 180km/week – if I had time I would do more in order to be more competitive at the level I would wish. World class marathon runners (past & present) run regularly 200km+/week... & it has to be consistent (consistency is the key for optimal running improvement). Now I have no doubt that some ultra-marathoners do commit to at least this level of training (being that their event is longer); however, I just don’t come across it (& see it as a result in performances).

    Like I said, I do respect them... but I certainly don’t take seriously any anecdotal shoe reviews (wearing traits) from a minority ultra-marathon fraternity. I can see where the cushioning can come in handy based on my 45km Sunday long runs (I can only imagine what the 80km stage of a 100km event would feel like :eek:). Yet, the vast majority of the running population are not ultra-marathoners – majority are your Fun Run runners (5 – 15km runners). Frankly, I would think if one has the inclination to do ultras – then one would suspect they would be at least somewhat biomechanically efficient to contemplate the direction (certainly not the guy I saw in my clinic yesterday wanting to just run 5km without the Posterior Shin Splints flaring up after 1-2km every time – he was wearing ASICS Kayano).

    That is my situation/perception as well... & I’m not willing to fork out the high price tag to put this perception to the test (unless Hoka is willing for me to test a pair).

    You know, 10 years ago we still had the three main shoe classes: * spike/track/cross country shoes; * Racing Flats; * traditional training shoes (with 10-12mm midsole pitch). Now in less than 10 years we can buy what is called a "minimalist" shoe in the form of a virtual foot ‘glove’ (i.e. Vibram FiveFinger - with no midsole) as well as a deemed "maximalist" shoe in the form of a virtual ‘platform’ (i.e. Hoka One One - with very large midsole)... & have groups out there from either party expounding the “science” & subsequent benefits of either... & directed to the masses.

    When you think about – it’s really quite odd. Is it any wonder the general population is confused & annoyed... let alone those with a much closer affiliation to the subject matter? Reminds of another topic which attracts polar opposite viewpoints (but we shalt go there). Speaking of which, this issue was touched on in another thread where I highlighted the following quote from another barefoot/minimalist article...
    I feel the above is a valuable (albeit frustrating) process... but one that is needed for growth & change. I believe the pendulum will start to move back to the centre for the general running population. But the process will bring with it a change of views (a possible paradigm shift), a new way of looking at the development & subsequent prescription of running shoes.

    Well, that’s my personal opinion anyway.
  20. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    just as a random point of order.. Scott Mullen is a General Surgeon, not an Orthopaedic Surgeon, and he graduated in 2007. Young interested running doc I am guessing. General Surgeons do not have a lot of life experience in biomechanics though..
  21. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    That's a fair enough arguement Ben Hur, like yourself some of my friends are middle distance runners and the mileage and hours they rack up are surreal, something I could never imagine doing, but I do see a lot of ultra runners with similar training programs, albeit a lesser percentage I would imagine.

    Like you also I am fascinated with the shifts in the in industry. As the whole minimalism seems to be dying off and less media coverage thereof who would be surprised if in a few years time most brands have an option of maximal cushioning. Most brands have had this type of shoe in the way of Asics Nimbus, Mizuno Prophecy etc but the Hoka Bondi certainly goes that extra step and a half. I hope to see some science backing Hoka's statements and would love to be involved in it myslef. Research proposal being drafted at the moment so would love peoples opinions on what exactly to concentrate the research on! I'm thinking an examination of the kinetic and kinematic variables present between running in Hokas, Vibrams and a neutral traditional shoe. Would the footfall patterns, loading rate, rearfoot eversion, dorsi/plantar flexion moments, leg stiffness be significantly different?

    Anyone know of any research being done before I waste my time proposing this? I haven't found anything on Hokas specifically
  22. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    Thanks Simon, hopefully be on my way back to UK from Melbourne to study a phd by then so could be an ideal stop off. What topic will you be discussing yourself? You may be able to help with my Hoka query I posted, anyone doing any research on that kind of shoe vs minimal. I know quite a bit being done on shod vs minimal vs barefoot so it would seem the next step would be Hoka vs said types.
  23. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    Not sure what I will talk on just yet, but I do have some interesting stuff on gradient and achilles tendon load. Will present this at ISB hopefully in July. Looking at perturbation of a sound wave shot up the tendon at the speed of sound with different gradients.. pretty interesting and quite surprising outcomes!
    I am also really interested in the impact of gait changes on injury.. what can and cannot be achieved. So that's my prelim thoughts. Good luck with the Ph.D.
    in relation to the Hokas.. these shoes do intrigue me, but I am not aware of any research on this. I will have a dig for you though.. best S
  24. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    Thanks Simon that would be great. I just came across your website a few weeks ago and will be signing up to years membership, should be some very interesting stuff in relation to running shoes I imagine?

    Would be very interested in your second point on gait changes and injury. I am sick of hearing how we should all change our gait to run in a particular natural way and how certain shoes will make you do that. Would love to see some data to back/refute those claims in relation to injury prevention. Kind of what I am linking my proposed Hoka research to. Just need to find someone to take me on as a phd student now. Fingers crossed.

    Your stuff on gradient and achilles tendon sounds intriguing if not a little over my head! My knowledge of tendon biomechanics is not the greatest so if you have stuff on that be interested to read also. Thanks
  25. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    Mate.. if you are going to join the website.. there is an ENORMOUS amount of info there on everything from footwear.. which actually is a bit of a low priority for me.. to the latest research on a vast array of topics. There are also instructional, patient resources vids and ppt's you can download, and tons of stuff on tendon, biomechanics an physiology thereof, as well as current injury thoughts. There is also quite a bit on using gait modification as an injury prevention and treatment tool, and I will be posting more on this tomorrow.
    The SOS stuff is actually quite easy to understand.. you shoot a sound beam up the tendon..institute an intervention, then see whether there was a timing change.. it is really cool. Anyway hope to see you on the website soon, I will research the hokas and post it.
  26. Twooms

    Twooms Member

    Will do thanks Simon, would "thank" if I knew how, still new to this forum!
  27. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the feedback Simon. I take it then the source referring Dr Mullen as an "orthopaedic surgeon" is incorrect (?)...

    American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS):
    I too would assume that... "General Surgeons do not have a lot of life experience in biomechanics"... I would like to think Orthopaedic Surgeons would/should have more of a clew... although I sometimes wonder when my path crosses with various orthopaedic surgeons via mutual patients :confused:.

    I would also think the likes of evolutionary Biologists/Anthropologists would also not... "have a lot of life experience in biomechanics"... yet, their presence have been noted. Anyway, here's to better research in this area :drinks (fruit smoothies that is ;)) for the future!

    BTW, your website sounds interesting - when I get some time I'll check it out.
  28. toomoon

    toomoon Well-Known Member

    thanks Matt.. yeah AAOS definitely got it wrong.. he is a General Surgeon.. not that there is anything wrong with that, but it is quite different!
    Having worked most of my life with orthos, their biomechanics for the most part is pretty sketchy at best, but quite a few of them can drive Porsches very fast around race tracks..
    Btw.. i made a golden smoothie this morning.. fresh mango, lime, lemon,strawberry, passionfruit, nectarine, peach and pineapple with a splash of blood orange juice.. does not get better than that first thing in the morn!
  29. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clearing that up... boy, one needs to be careful when relying on information (particularly via the internet)... & from areas where one would assume would be reliable (i.e. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons ).

    Anyway, I found out that I impressed an Orthopaedic surgeon today; our mutual patient came in to clinic asking for business cards due to him requesting them (result of insertional Achilles issue/Rx).

    That sounds fantastic :drinks.
  30. I am sorry, Matthew. I reread the abstract from this study and still believe the authors very clearly display a research bias in their abstract.

    Here is what Simon Spooner said about the study earlier in this thread:

    Secondly, please tell me, Matthew, what exactly is a "cushioned heel running shoe". By strict definition, this would include any running shoe that has any midsole with any cushion in the rearfoot area of the shoe. This would include the Nike Free, the Merrill Trail Glove, and the Hoka One One. Do you know exactly know what shoes these authors were referring to in their study, Matthew? I don't have a clue.

    Along these same lines, using the term "cushioned heel running shoe" to me is a red flag in a scientific study just like the term "big bulky running shoes" that Blaise Dubois likes to use is also a red flag for me. Running shoe design is so variable that unless one is more specific about design parameters of the shoe being studied and can control for the other design variables of the shoes being tested in a scientific study, then the study is basically a useless exercise in futility.

    If you want to believe that these authors have no bias, Matthew, then that is fine with me. We will need to agree to disagree. However, for me, studies like this do little good for those scientists and clinicians that are eager to learn more about the effects of running shoe design on central nervous system control of running kinematics and kinetics, the metabolic efficiency of running and the correlation of running shoe design to running injury production. Maybe next time, the authors will not bring their biases into their scientific research and, as a result, destroy their credibility for those of us who are seeking objective scientific data on these important subjects.
  31. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Ok Dr Kirby - all's cool :cool:. I personally don't feel it is bias research thus as you say... "We will need to agree to disagree" (at the moment - maybe time will tell). I understand your reasoning on this; however, you stated the following above... "as a result, destroy their credibility"... I just can't see why a researcher/scientists would willingly put their credibility in jeopardy & subsequently tarnish their reputation for the sake of what exactly... I personally can't see what they would get out of being "deliberately bias" on this issue (I am fully aware of research bias in other areas where more is at stake than the implications of this shoe/footstrike topic). Anyhow, you have more experience than I do on this area... & I may be a wee bit gullible (naïve). If the research integrity is as you suspect, then I'm behind you 100%... but I just need more evidence.

    Anyway, the research topic I think & a good one - a very interesting one, a direction I personally haven't seen studied before. Yet, there is an obvious problem, as I have queried in my first post... & one that you also bring up next...

    I agree with you Dr Kirby hence why I stated the following first up on this thread...
    Frankly, the more I think about this, the more suspicious I get. I feel the above info is vital information for a topic of this nature... certainly worth supplying info on in the abstract... if nothing else, it is certainly very sloppy leaving this info out. Then again - I've been told "I think too much" :)confused:) & that I'm quite particular on such issues... coupled with the fact I don't have research experience (being a clinician with little time as it is)... I have given this study the benefit of the doubt (optimistic/gullibility... ??) & thus supported it.

    Yes - agree, I admit the above terms are pretty vague... & terms I wouldn't come up with & certainly use in a research/science paper - but due to what I said above (i.e. experience/gullibility) I let these issues slide. I'll admit it is sloppy terminology. Maybe I should be a harsher assessor / a stricter critic.

    Anyway, thanks Dr Kirby for you insights on this matter; whilst I might see things a bit differently at the moment on this issue, I still appreciate your feedback... I please feel welcome to steer me in the right direction in future if you feel it's needed.

    Kind regards,
    Matt... :drinks (fruit smoothies that is ;)).

    NB: there seems to have been quite a few research papers on this area of footwear/foot strike/running injuries that has been labelled insufficient/poor... got me thinking, maybe Podiatry Arena should have their own research team... for quality research on the above areas... by P.A.R.T (Podiatry Arena Research Team)... the research arm of the forum.
  32. Matt:

    I think you will become more critical of research papers the more you read them and especially read them with a "reviewer's eye".

    I have been reviewing papers for JAPMA for 20 years, have been reviewing papers for the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery for 10 years, and in the last few years have been asked to review papers for the Journal of Biomechanics, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, and a few of the newer online journals. I know that Simon Spooner and Craig also review manuscripts for Journals quite often also.

    Reviewing papers over the years has made me look at any paper now with a more critical eye which then allows me to pick up on problems with papers more easily. If you do the same, read papers with the eye of a research scientist and research clinician, then, over time, I think you will also see why both Simon and I feel this "cushioned heel running shoe" research shows some bias.

    Have a nice weekend.:drinks (Perrier, of course):rolleyes:
  33. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thanks Dr Kirby for your opinion/feedback on this. You made the point with regard to viewing the likes of research papers with a "critical eye"... that sounds a valid attribute when exercising one’s "reviewer’s eye". It seems particularly so these days as there appears to be so much deception in the world today... under the guises of many forms... unfortunately science has been one of them.

    With this in mind - there’s just been one question that keeps on bugging me over the course of this discussion. If you (& others) feel that these researchers are bias in casting shadows/doubt (to say the least) with regard to footstrike relationship to injuries & footwear (& vice versa)... & it is deliberate bias (potentially placing their integrity at risk), then one would think there is an agenda here – do you (or anyone else) by any chance know what that agenda would be?

    On a similar issue, I can see potential biases (& subsequent agendas) on various aspects associated with Prof. Lieberman’s views/research (i.e. ‘foot strike patterns & collision forces’) with regard to history of bipedalism/running (evolution – from an evolutionary biologists), conventional running foot attire (research partly sponsored by Vibram) & its presence found in McDougal’s ‘Born To Run’ book (pro barefoot running/anti traditional running shoe)... but am curious as to the agendas behind this research (subject of thread) & other similar research (as highlighted in posts 7 & 8 of this thread).

    Kind regards,
  34. Matt:

    Research bias may or may not involve an agenda. Without knowing these researchers or their previous work, then all I can say that their conclusions do not follow their research findings and they exhibit a bias in their conclusions by assuming that cushioned heel running shoes, because they make you run somewhat differently than barefoot running, are likely going to cause more injuries.

    As Simon said earlier, how can we say that cushioned heel running shoes will be likely to cause injury any more than we can say that minimalist running shoes are more likely to cause injury from this research? Answer? We can't if we are being objective and don't have a bias, intentional, due to an agenda, or unintentional, due to a preconceived false idea.

    Now, if we can't reasonably make this statement from the research, then why make the statement at all unless the researcher has a bias and is not being objective? Answer? We shouldn't even make this statement in the abstract as objective scientists unless we can solidly base our statement on some very firm grounding such as previous scientific research that shows that injury rates are higher in cushioned heel shoes. Since there is no such research, then the researchers are exhibiting a bias toward assuming that running in cushioned heel shoes are more likely to be detrimental than running barefoot or running in thin-soled shoes.

    As far as Lieberman is concerned, here, I believe, is a case of intentional bias in a researcher with an agenda because his lab obviously receives a significant amount of money from Vibram. In fact, I don't think Lieberman has done any running biomechanics research that isn't sponsored by Vibram. Certainly smells of conflict of interest to me especially considering how his experiments seem to be intentionally set up to show that forefoot striking is better than rearfoot striking.

    You are asking the right questions, Matt. Keep up the good work.:drinks
  35. BEN-HUR

    BEN-HUR Well-Known Member

    Thank you Dr Kirby for sharing your valuable time & experience. Much appreciated.

    All the best.
  36. Steve York

    Steve York Member

    For me personally, most likely when running up a steep incline, however I must admit that I only tried this once (not so long ago), but I didn't get very far!:bang: And conversely when running down the steep decline on the other side of this hill, heel striking came in handy to decrease my speed and momentum in order to get to the bottom safety, albeit not in a timely manner.:rolleyes:

    So for me, heel striking is only employed to slow myself down and if my intent was to get from A to B in the most efficient and quickest time, it wouldn't factor into my running style and it currently doesn't. I'll never run in bare feet and if I had to it wouldn't be heel striking. I don't run in minimalistic footwear either. I actually run in cushioned Kayano's and I guess that's just a subconscious safety net from running in this model for 10+ years.

    For 30+ years I was a heel striker who resisted, resented, avoided and was reluctant to run at all costs although I endured compulsory school cross countries, an Ironman, a half marathon and regular pre-season sport trainings. And throughout this period I sustained a number of lower limb injuries which required cortisone injection, orthoses, injury management, prolonged layoff etc.

    5+ years ago I changed my running style similarly to the Pose style of running and began to strike mid/forefoot. I can report that I am now more comfortable at running and run more than I did previously. I run longer distances than I have ever done and I run more frequently. I have recently returned to multisports events after a 20+ year hiatus which I never thought I would do and just completed the Ironman again.

    Do I get injuries? Yes I do. In the past 5 years I have sustained 4 or 5 lower calf/upper achilles strains. I know the etiology of injury at the time to be mid/forefoot loading on a gradual decline. Deceleration and essentric loading are two factors that spring to mind after analysing the mechanism of these events.

    Whilst I have sat back and watched the debate, critiques, criticism and attacks from both camps (barefoot v shod, minimalistic v cushioning, heel striking v mid/forefoot striking) I often wonder whether the biases have emerged because of a resistance to changes or threats to current beliefs or paradigms.

    I changed my running style because the notion of Pose running made logical sense in terms of efficiency and accordingly it works for me. However if it didn't and I was prone to more injuries or felt it was inefficient, I would've returned to heel striking, but perhaps not returned to running. Who knows?

    I accept the injuries that I have sustained lately because my body is perhaps still undergoing adaption, but I am enjoying my new running style which has benefitted me in so many ways. I may not know the long term implications, but at this present time, this works for me.

    There may be fair criticism of the emergence of new injuries due to barefoot or minimalistic running, and equally a fair defence that you would expect a phenonenom of adapative injuries as the body transitions to a sudden evolutionary change.

    So this is my view (albeit simplistic and real vs qualified and peer reviewed) that one would expect modern day runners to be injury free considering shoes have been in existence since BC. So maybe athletic shoes since mid 19th century and cushioned heel later. Does that mean we still haven't got it right, never did get it right and maybe will never ever get it right so that running shoes makes us injury free? Will the barefoot/minimalistic runners evolve to become the panacea of injury free running? Who knows, have we given enough time to assess this hypothesis? Or will running full stop, irrespective of the shoes or no shoes or area of striking always contribute to injuries due to the loading and tissue stresses? If so, isn't there enough merit with both arguments without condemning one or the other? I guess research isn't research unless you challenge each others' theories, hypothses or views.

    For a first time poster, long time lurker, I've certainly made up for it in word count.;)

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