UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The effect of shoe design and custom foot orthotic intervention on lower extremity dynamics in female runners Baker, Ashley Sarah


This study used measures of joint coordination variability, plantar pressure loading profiles, rearfoot dynamics and a shoe comfort questionnaire to determine whether a motion control shoe or a neutral shoe is more appropriate for female runners who wear moderately posted foot orthoses. To date, there has been no research to suggest the prescription of either shoe, over the other, for female runners who present with moderately posted foot orthoses. Fifteen female runners participated in this study. All subjects had previously been prescribed and currently wear foot orthoses with 3° of rearfoot posting and no forefoot posting. Plantar pressure data and electrogoniometer data were collected simultaneously while the subjects ran at 3.35 m/s (8 minute-mile pace), or at a speed as close to 3.35 m/s as possible. The electrogoniometers were attached to the lateral aspect of the right leg collecting knee angle data in the sagittal plane and to the heel counter of the shoe and the lower leg, collecting rearfoot angle data in the frontal plane. Both the neutral and the motion control shoe were tested while the subjects ran with and without their foot orthoses. A questionnaire was administered to determine shoe satisfaction. Variability, as it pertains to joint coordination is thought to be characteristic of more flexible gait patterns. Those with increased joint coordination variability are thought to be able to adapt to external perturbations better than those with reduced variability of joint coordination. Differences were deemed statistically significant if p< 0.05. For the orthoses condition, the motion control shoe showed decreased variability in the regional analysis as compared to the neutral shoe. When running in the shoes without orthoses (SHOD), the motion control shoe showed increased variability as compared to the neutral shoe. When comparing all conditions, the neutral shoe, when worn with orthoses showed the greatest joint coordination variability and thus is the preferred shoe-orthoses combination with respect to healthy joint coordination patterns. Differences between the two shoes were exhibited in the SHOD condition for plantar pressure loading profiles on the medial side of the heel and mid-foot region as well as the hallux region (p<0.01). There were no statistically significant correlations between navicular drop and shoe that was deemed most comfortable. The research presented in this thesis provides valuable information as to appropriate shoe-orthoses combinations and contributes to the new direction the research of running pathomechanics appears to be taking.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


For non-commercial purposes only, such as research, private study and education. Additional conditions apply, see Terms of Use https://open.library.ubc.ca/terms_of_use.