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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Knapik 2010.

Prescribing shoes based on the shape of the foot had little influence on injuries

updated
Knapik JJ, Trone DW, Swedler DI, Villasenor A, Bullock SH, Schmied E, Bockelman T, Han P, Jones BH. Injury reduction effectiveness of assigning running shoes based on plantar shape in Marine Corps basic training. Am J Sports Med. 2010 Sep;38(9):1759–67. PubMed #20576837.
Tags: running, orthotics, knee, barefoot, patellar pain, IT band pain, plantar fasciitis, exercise, self-treatment, treatment, foot, leg, limbs, pain problems, biomechanics, etiology, pro, devices, arthritis, aging, overuse injury, injury, tendinosis

PainSci summary of Knapik 2010?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focussed on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

Can a custom shoe prevent injuries by compensating for individual differences in running mechanics? Several hundred Marine Corps recruits were given motion control, stability, or cushioned shoes for their “low, medium, or high arches.” Those recruits got injured just as much as hundreds of other recruits who were given stability shoes, regardless of their arch shape. The authors conclused that prescribing shoes “based on the shape of the plantar foot surface had little influence on injuries.”

But what if the recruits didn’t actually wear the shoes much? One of the recruits contacted me and explained that “we spent most of our physical training in ill-fitting boots. I ran in those boots more than in my fitted running shoes. Throw in a few dozen officials and unofficial hikes and the study was probably useless. We mostly wore the shoes for recovery from the hikes, blisters, swollen feet and all.”

A report like this isn’t necessarily a data disaster — there are many possible mitigating factors — but it does reduce confidence in this otherwise persuasive evidence.

original abstract

BACKGROUND: Shoe manufacturers market motion control, stability, and cushioned shoes for plantar shapes defined as low, normal, and high, respectively. This assignment procedure is presumed to reduce injuries by compensating for differences in running mechanics.

HYPOTHESIS: Assigning running shoes based on plantar shape will not reduce injury risk in Marine Corps basic training.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled clinical trial; Level of evidence, 1.

METHODS: After foot examinations, Marine Corps recruits in an experimental group (E: 408 men, 314 women) were provided motion control, stability, or cushioned shoes for plantar shapes indicative of low, medium, or high arches, respectively. A control group (C: 432 men, 257 women) received a stability shoe regardless of plantar shape. Injuries during the 12 weeks of training were determined from outpatient visits obtained from the Defense Medical Surveillance System. Other known injury risk factors (eg, fitness, smoking, prior physical activity) were obtained from a questionnaire, existing databases, or the training units.

RESULTS: Cox regression indicated little difference in injury risk between the E and C groups among men (hazard ratio [E/C] = 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 0.82-1.24) or women (hazard ratio [E/C] = 0.88; 95% confidence interval, 0.70-1.10).

CONCLUSION: This prospective study demonstrated that assigning shoes based on the shape of the plantar foot surface had little influence on injuries even after considering other injury risk factors.

related content

These five articles on PainScience.com cite Knapik 2010 as a source:


This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.