Dynamic performance assessment of selected sport shoes on impact forces

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Few investigators have evaluated the performance characteristics of non-running sport shoes. The purpose of this study was to assess the dynamic performance characteristics of four different shoe models during landings. Five male subjects performed 25 voluntary hanging drop landings (60 cm) onto a force platform (1000 Hz) for each of four shoe conditions (C1 and C2 = basketball shoe, C3 = running shoe, C4 = volleyball shoe). Ground reaction force data were evaluated for maximum forefoot (F1) and rearfoot (F2) impact forces as well as the respective times of occurrence of these events (T1, T2). Results of the group data analysis indicated a preferential performance rank order of C1, C3, C4, C2 although significant interaction effects were observed, indicating a need for single-subject analyses. Three techniques were incorporated to assess individual subject condition differences, all of which elicited unique rank orders for the shoes although each identified C1 as the “best” shoe condition. The results of the study support the necessity for within-subject analyses conducted with an adequate number of trials when attempting to detect subtle performance differences that may exist between various sport shoes. Whether the observed statistically significant differences are biomechanically meaningful remains an important unanswered question.

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