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Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 1992 Aug;7(3):181-4. doi: 10.1016/0268-0033(92)90034-2.

Cushioning properties of footwear during walking: accelerometer and force platform measurements.

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School of Human Biology, University of Guelph, Canada.


Repetitive impact loadings of the musculoskeletal system have been linked to the development of osteoarthritis and low back pain. An important function of footwear is to attenuate foot-ground impacts. The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of footwear types upon the impact ground reaction forces and the transient stress waves transmitted up the lower limb. The results have shown that both transient stress waves and ground reaction forces are affected by footwear during walking. Furthermore, with harder midsoles footwear, higher shock was transmitted to the lower extremities. This paper confirms the importance of using footwear to cushion the impact generated at heelstrike during walking. It also reveals that both shock and force measurements are required to evaluate and prescribe footwear to patients suffering from impact-related chronic diseases.

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