Examining the Dampening Effects of Varying Shoe Architecture During Gait

Faculty Sponsor

Craig Goehler




Mechanical Engineering

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-31-2014


Studies have shown that running shoe architecture may play a major role in lower extremity injury prevention (Wiegerinck, et al). It has been hypothesized that shoes with added support are more effective at preventing injury, due to the greater force dampening effect that the increased stability provides. Initial studies tested this hypothesis by measuring the in-shoe force data in the heel region of two running shoe types from two different companies. The two running shoe types were classified as flexible and stability where the flexible shoes provided a lower level of support than the stability shoes. The recorded walking trials yielded consistent results supporting the hypothesis; increased stability acts as a dampener in the heel region. This current study expands upon the previous work by gathering data from additional subjects and including the effects of impact forces on the mid-foot region during the gait cycle. Ten subjects walked in the two shoe types from each of the two companies using a treadmill to dictate a constant walking speed across all of the subjects. Impact forces were recording utilizing a Tekscan Fscan in-shoe pressure mapping system. The data was filtered and grouped to isolate the heel and midfoot regions throughout 25 gait cycles per shoe per subject. Of the ten subjects recorded, eight subjects displayed a statistically significant reduction in peak forces from the flexible shoes to the stability shoes across both regions.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Lauren, Brie and David are all senior mechanical engineering students at the university. They began this research project with an interest in learning more about the field of biomechanical engineering. They are looking to either continue their studies in graduate school or start their careers in the field of bioengineering.

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