Can changing running shoes immediately reduce the risk of tibial stress fractures?


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Running is becoming a more popular sport worldwide however many runners suffer from tibial stress fractures (TSF). While there are various kinematic, kinetic, and anthropometric risk factors associated with TSF, it is though that by changing running shoes one or several of these risk factors will decrease. This thesis is focused on the kinetics, kinematics, and muscle activation patterns of commercially available shoes as they affect known risk factors for TSF. Five different running conditions (barefoot, minimalist, maximalist, neutral, and stability shoes) were analyzed in this study. The test protocol utilized 3D motion capture, force plates, and EMG. The findings of the current study suggest that strike pattern and foot alignment rather than shoes are the determining factors in eliminating risk factors for TSF. Future works should involve fatigue studies and gait retraining studies to determine the best shoe for long term reduction of TSF risk.



Running. Tibial stress fractures. Shoes. Barefoot. Minimalist. Maximalist. Neutral. Stability.