Feet and Footwear: Applying Biological Design and Mismatch Theory to Running Injuries

Wilkinson, Mick, Stoneham, Richard and Saxby, Lee (2018) Feet and Footwear: Applying Biological Design and Mismatch Theory to Running Injuries. International Journal of Sports and Exercise Medicine, 4 (2). ISSN 2469-5718

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.23937/2469-5718/1510090


The Endurance-Running hypothesis proposes that natural selection has shaped humans into endurance-running specialists. Running-related-injury rates between 20-79% suggests modern humans are prone to injury in this species-specific movement pattern. This opinion piece offers a novel perspective on high-injury prevalence in human endurance running, focussing on evolutionary mismatch between modern athletic footwear and evolved foot structure and function. We propose that non-anatomically shaped, structured, cushioned footwear can lead to maladapted foot structure and loss of biologically-normal function including stability, elasticity, sensory feedback and subsequent movement control. The structure and function of the human foot and its possible impairment by modern footwear has received little attention in running-related literature, but could provide a new area of enquiry and potential solutions for many running-related injuries.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Running, Injury, Biomechanics, Foot structure, Foot function, Footwear
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 31 May 2018 09:27
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 08:03
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/34401

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