The effects of shoe design parameters on rearfoot control in running

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1983;15(5):376-81.


Control of the amount and/or rate of pronation of the foot which occurs during distance running has been cited as an important consideration for runners when selecting a running shoe. In this study, high-speed movie film was taken from the rear while 10 subjects ran on a treadmill at a pace of 3.8 m X s-1. These subjects wore 36 different shoes in combinations of three midsole hardnesses, three heel flares, and four heel heights. The film data were digitized and used to determine the eversion or inversion of the heel relative to the lower leg throughout foot contact. Because eversion of the foot is a component of pronation it was used as a predictor of how much pronation was occurring. It was found that shoes with soft midsoles (25 durometer, Shore A scale) allowed significantly more maximum pronation (MP) and total rearfoot movement (TRM) than shoes with either medium (35 durometer) or hard (45 durometer) midsoles. Shoes with 0 degrees heel flare allowed significantly more MP and TRM than shoes with either 15 degrees or 30 degrees heel flares. Heel height was found to have no significant effect on either MP or TRM. These data provide guidelines for the construction of running shoes designed to limit rearfoot movement.

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Equipment Design
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Running*
  • Shoes*