Bone Stress Injuries in Runners Using Carbon Fiber Plate Footwear

Sports Med. 2023 Aug;53(8):1499-1505. doi: 10.1007/s40279-023-01818-z. Epub 2023 Feb 13.


The introduction of carbon fiber plate footwear has led to performance benefits in runners. The mechanism for these changes in running economy includes altered biomechanics of the foot and ankle. The association of this footwear with injuries has been a topic of debate clinically, but not described in the literature. In this Current Opinion article, illustrated by a case series of five navicular bone stress injuries in highly competitive running athletes, we discuss the development of running-related injuries in association with the use of carbon fiber plate footwear. While the performance benefits of this footwear are considerable, sports medicine providers should consider injuries possibly related to altered biomechanical demands affecting athletes who use carbon fiber plate footwear. Given the introduction of carbon fiber plate footwear into athletics and other endurance sports, strategies may be required to reduce risk of injury due to altered foot and ankle mechanics. This article is intended (1) to raise awareness on possible health concerns around the use of carbon fiber plate footwear, (2) to suggest a slow gradual transition from habitual to carbon fiber plate footwear, and (3) to foster medical research related to carbon fiber plate technology and injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ankle Joint
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Carbon Fiber
  • Humans
  • Lower Extremity
  • Shoes*
  • Sports Medicine*


  • Carbon Fiber