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Wearing footwear with toe springs requires less muscle work

Discussion in 'Biomechanics, Sports and Foot orthoses' started by NewsBot, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
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    NEWS RELEASE 17-SEP-2020
    Biomechanics: Wearing footwear with toe springs requires less muscle work

    Wearing footwear with an upward curvature at the front of the shoe - known as the toe spring - requires less work from the muscles of the feet to walk than shoes with a flatter sole, according to an experimental study published in Scientific Reports.

    Toe springs keep the toes continually elevated above the ground in a flexed upwards position to help the front part of the foot roll forward when walking or running and are present in most modern athletic shoes, but their effect on natural foot function and vulnerability of the feet to injury has not been widely studied.

    Freddy Sichting and colleagues from Harvard University, the Chemnitz University of Technology and Buffalo University investigated the effects of toe springs on foot biomechanics using a controlled experiment in which 13 participants walked barefoot on a treadmill at a comfortable walking pace. The participants were then asked to repeat the process wearing four different pairs of specially designed sandals with varying upward curvature of the toe region in order to simulate the curvature of modern athletic footwear. 3D motion data were captured using markers placed on each subject's knee, ankle and foot.

    The authors found that toe springs decrease the work of the muscles around the joints that connect the toes to the foot bones. The higher the upwards curve of the toes in respect to the rest of the foot, the less work the foot muscles had to perform to support the joints when walking.

    The findings explain why toe springs are so comfortable and popular but suggest that shoes with toe springs may contribute to weakening of the foot muscles with long-term use. This may increase susceptibility to common pathological conditions such as plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes, according to the authors.
     
  2. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
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    Effect of the upward curvature of toe springs on walking biomechanics in humans
    Freddy Sichting, Nicholas B. Holowka, Oliver B. Hansen & Daniel E. Lieberman
    Scientific Reports volume 10, Article number: 14643 (2020)
     
  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
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    "suggest that toe springs may contribute to weakening of the foot muscles and possibly to increased susceptibility to common pathological conditions such as plantar fasciitis."

    Nope.
     
  4. NewsBot

    NewsBot The Admin that posts the news.

    Articles:
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  5. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

    Articles:
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  6. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    Related to the above , my understanding is that rocker bottom shoes are often prescribed in conditions were ulceration is a problem beneath the met heads .

    Question ; What happens to the plantar intrinsics in these patients ?
    I have looked but can't find any study that looks into this .
    Having an answer might be important .
     
  7. scotfoot

    scotfoot Well-Known Member

    Can toe springs inhibit foot function and potential lead to planter fasciitis , I think so , yes ,and here is why .

    As far as I am aware I am first to talk of two windlass phases as distinct to the windlass and reverse windlass of Hick around toe off .

    The initial windlass phase starts when the toes dorsiflex after the foot has left the ground and concludes as the toes are lowered to the ground during weight acceptance .

    This lowering process likely has a profound effect on the rate at which the tissues of the foot , and the plantar fascia in particular , are loaded and so will very likely affect injury rates .

    Toe springs will limit toe range of motion during loading and so lessen the effect of the mechanism . The larger the toe spring angle the greater the reduction in the mechanisms effect .

    This will happen independently of intrinsic muscle strength . Simple physics backs up the concept .
     
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