Background: This study compared the running gait of mature and young females, and investigated the effect of a motion control shoe. First, it was hypothesised that in a neutral shoe, mature females would display significantly greater rearfoot eversion, knee internal rotation and external adductor moments when compared to a younger group. Secondly, the motion control shoe would reduce rearfoot eversion and knee internal rotation in both groups. Thirdly it was hypothesised that the motion control shoe would increase knee external adductor moment, through an increase in knee varus and moment arm.
Methods: 15 mature (40-60 years) and 15 young (18-25 years) females performed 10 running trials at 3.5ms(-1)±5% over a force platform. Two shoes were tested, the Adidas Supernova Glide (neutral), and the Adidas Supernova Sequence (motion control). Ankle and knee joint dynamics were analysed for the right leg, and the mean of ten trials was calculated. Joint moments were calculated using inverse dynamics.
Findings: In the neutral condition, mature females presented greater peak rearfoot eversion, knee internal rotation, and external adductor moments than young females (p<0.05). A motion control shoe significantly reduced peak rearfoot eversion and knee internal rotation among both groups (p<0.05). No between shoe differences in knee external adductor moment were observed.
Interpretation: A motion control shoe is recommended to reduce risk of injury associated with rearfoot eversion and knee internal rotation in mature females. However since the knee external adductor moment is a variable commonly associated with medial knee loading it is suggested that alternative design features are required to influence this moment.
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