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Orthotics and Speed

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by docpodjy, May 10, 2007.

  1. docpodjy

    docpodjy Welcome New Poster

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    Is there a direct relationship between orthotics and increased speed?
  2. Cameron

    Cameron Well-Known Member

    Interesting question.

    Certainly there have been some embarrassed (and eminent) biomechanists who have stated, new shoes would shave running time records. It just did not happen and shoe manufacturers are now very guarded about their claims. Witness Nike and addias' current promotions.

    I might suggest foot orthoses/shoes may maintain an elite athlete's potential, but always it is the athlete who achieves the goals and determined by a multitude of factors.

    In the case of couch potatoes if stabilisation of the pathological foot increases work efficiency, then individual performances may improve but it is still the person who achives this and not the presence of the orthotic perse.

    Feet first
  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Theroretically its possible, but there is no evidence.....yet :)
  4. LuckyLisfranc

    LuckyLisfranc Well-Known Member


    Interested to know how you would go about designing a study to prove/disprove this?

    How would you control the many wierd and wonderful variables?

    Any random thoughts?

  5. docpodjy

    docpodjy Welcome New Poster

    I read somewhere (not a published paper), that a 40 yard dash time could be decreased by decreasing the amount of time the foot is on the ground by 5/100. Is this possible or valid?
  6. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    From one of our previous projects we were able to get the heel off the ground sooner in the "windlass enhancing" running shoes in those with a delayed onset to the windlass ...so theroetically that means that those people could run faster (but that was not the variable we measured).
  7. CEM

    CEM Active Member

    IME if an orthotic provides increased biomechanical performance of the foot then the foot will function in a more dynamic way, the stride length can increase therefore taking less strides to cover a distance will result in a faster time over that distance.

    i often do a simple stride test using an OTC device, over 20-40 paces..... the increase in stride length from shoe without orthotic to shoe with orthtoic can be between 10-15 %

    10% of a 10km run is 1 km [just incase it is early] so this would result in the runner using similar energy to what they would have done pre orthotic for 9km

    hope that makes sence
  8. davidh

    davidh Podiatry Arena Veteran

    Interesting question.

    Theoretically, orthoses should help to either:
    increase performance, or
    allow the subject to run at the same speed with decreased effort.
    The latter BTW should be relatively easy to design a study to test - VO2 max is routinely tested as it is. All that would be needed in addition is a treadmill.
  9. I love these subjects that nobody actually knows much about!!!

    One thing I have noticed with elite track runners that wear orthoses is that they often don't wear them in their spikes, unless of course they have had something designed esp' for these shoes! The reason is because of the weight of the orthoses! I conducted a little experiment on the track... I did 3 x 1km reps, the first without orthoses, and then the 2nd with. The second rep was 2 seconds slower. Not a major differance but what struck me was how much harder wearing the insoles made the rep! incidently the orthoses where discarded for the third rep( which was the fastest of the three) and have never made there way back to my spikes. I do however wear them for easy training runs.

    On the other side of the coin, I have designed myself an insole for my spikes which gives the perception of improved propulsion, and therefore to my mind improved performance. Basically they consist of a thin layer of EVa, heal posting and a PPt cobra pad, topped off with a forefoot EVA extention under the 1st (yes the 1st) MTPJ.

    I know that this is a one off case but i do believe that orthoses can imrpove performance! however it has takern me 12 years of wearing orthoses, a podiatry degree and years specialising in biomech to find something that works for me! Get the picture.

    regards to all

    Gareth klepacz

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