What we are told about sports shoes Lies, damn lies and statistics

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					                      What we are told about sports shoes: Lies, damn lies and statistics?

                                         S.J. Bartold*           The University of South Australia


The running boom of the mid to late 1970’s focused attention on athletic footwear, and posed the question: can footwear create or prevent
injury? Because the manufacture of athletic footwear represents a multi-billion dollar industry worldwide, it has been in the best interests of the
manufacturers to find answers to these questions. As a result, within the industry, the science of biomechanics is the shining star. All the major
players in this industry place considerable emphasis on the biomechanical innovation of their product. Vast sums of money are spent researching
human movement and footwear function, in highly sophisticated laboratories. Undoubtedly, athletic footwear has changed, but has it changed
for the better, and has it changed in response to quality science? Are we still telling our patients the same “technical” story we told 10 years
ago? If athletic footwear research is keeping step with current biomechanical theory and injury management trends, surely there are new
techniques to assess which footwear best suits the needs of our athletic population. This is the first of two papers exploring this issue, and will
examine some of the inaccuracies and myths perpetuated in relation to athletic footwear.”




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        What we are told about sports shoes: Lies, damn lies and statistics?
                                                        S.J. Bartold*
                                               The University of South Australia

    The running boom of the mid to late 1970’s focused attention on athletic footwear, and posed the question: can
footwear create or prevent injury? Because the manufacture of athletic footwear represents a multi-billion dollar
industry worldwide, it has been in the best interests of the manufacturers to find answers to these questions. As a
result, within the industry, the science of biomechanics is the shining star. All the major players in this industry place
considerable emphasis on the biomechanical innovation of their product. Vast sums of money are spent researching
human movement and footwear function, in highly sophisticated laboratories. Undoubtedly, athletic footwear has
changed, but has it changed for the better, and has it changed in response to quality science? Are we still telling our
patients the same “technical” story we told 10 years ago? If athletic footwear research is keeping step with current
biomechanical theory and injury management trends, surely there are new techniques to assess which footwear best
suits the needs of our athletic population. This is the first of two papers exploring this issue, and will examine some of
the inaccuracies and myths perpetuated in relation to athletic footwear.

				
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