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Am J Sports Med. 2008 Nov;36(11):2139-46. doi: 10.1177/0363546508318191. Epub 2008 Jun 24.

Effect of neutral-cushioned running shoes on plantar pressure loading and comfort in athletes with cavus feet: a crossover randomized controlled trial.

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  • 1Podiatry Program, School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia.



High injury rates observed in athletes with cavus feet are thought to be associated with elevated plantar pressure loading. Neutral-cushioned running shoes are often recommended to manage and prevent such injuries.


To investigate in-shoe plantar pressure loading and comfort during running in 2 popular neutral-cushioned running shoes recommended for athletes with cavus feet.


Controlled laboratory study.


Plantar pressures were collected using the in-shoe Novel Pedar-X system during overground running in 22 athletes with cavus feet in 2 neutral-cushioned running shoes (Asics Nimbus 6 and Brooks Glycerin 3) and a control condition (Dunlop Volley). Comfort was measured using a validated visual analog scale.


Compared with the control, both neutral-cushioned running shoes significantly reduced peak pressure and pressure-time integrals by 17% to 33% (P < .001). The Brooks Glycerin most effectively reduced pressure beneath the whole foot and forefoot (P < .01), and the Asics Nimbus most effectively reduced rearfoot pressure (P <.01). Both neutral-cushioned running shoes reduced force at the forefoot by 6% and increased it at the midfoot by 12% to 17% (P < .05). Contact time and area increased in both neutral-cushioned running shoes (P < .01). The Asics Nimbus was the most comfortable, although both neutral-cushioned running shoes were significantly more comfortable than the control (P < .001).


Two popular types of neutral-cushioned running shoes were effective at reducing plantar pressures in athletes with cavus feet.


Regional differences in pressure reduction suggest neutral-cushioned running shoe recommendation should shift from being categorical in nature to being based on location of injury or elevated plantar pressure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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