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J Sports Sci. 1986 Winter;4(3):169-84.

Kinematically mediated effects of sport shoe design: a review.


One prominent pattern emerging from a review of the literature on sport shoes and biomechanics is the observation that many effects are the indirect result of shoe-induced adjustments in movement, i.e. a particular shoe characteristic elicits a kinematic adaptation which in turn has secondary consequences on kinetics and on injury and performance. For example, in addition to its variable effects on peak forces, cushioning system design has been shown to alter electromyographic patterns and to affect knee flexion during foot strike and affect indirectly the economy of running. Mediolateral stability as measured by rearfoot kinematics is strongly influenced by shoe design features such as heel lift, and sole hardness and geometry. The frictional properties of the shoe and surface interface have also been shown to affect kinematics in a way that in turn affects the recorded frictional forces themselves. Such kinematically mediated responses are the most provocative result of studies of the biomechanical effects of footwear. It is becoming apparent that the shoe can be a powerful tool for manipulating human movement. The abundance of shoe design possibilities coupled with the body's tendency to adjust in predictable ways to shoe mechanical characteristics have given us a new way to manipulate human kinematics and kinetics, as well as a convenient model for studying biomechanical adaptation.

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