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Long-term effects of shoe mileage on ground reaction forces and lower limb muscle activities during walking in individuals with genu varus

      Highlights

      • Shoe mileage is an important factor that influences the risk of sustaining injuries.
      • Findings indicated lower shoe stiffness at baseline compared to posttest.
      • The changes in ground reaction forces are more prominent in genu varus than control.
      • Rectus femoris activity was higher during loading phase in pretest than posttest.

      Abstract

      Background

      Shoe mileage is an important factor that may influence the risk of sustaining injuries during walking. The aims of this study were to examine the effects of shoe mileage on ground reaction forces and activity of lower limb muscles during walking in genu varus individuals compared with controls.

      Methods

      Fifteen healthy and 15 genu varus females received a new pair of running shoes. They were asked to wear these shoes over 6 months. Pre and post intervention, mechanical shoe testing was conducted and ground reaction forces and muscle activities of the right leg were recorded during walking at preferred gait speed.

      Findings

      Significant group-by-time interactions were found for shoe stiffness, antero-posterior and vertical impact peak. We observed higher shoe stiffness and lower impact peaks after intervention in both groups with larger effect sizes in genu varus. Significant group-by-time interactions were identified for vastus medialis (loading phase) and rectus femoris (loading and push-off). For vastus medialis, significant decreases were found from pre-to-post during the loading phase in the control group. Rectus femoris activity was higher post intervention during the loading and push-off phases in both groups with larger effect sizes in genu varus.

      Interpretation

      Our findings indicate that the observed changes in ground reaction forces are more prominent in genu varus individuals. Together with our findings on shoe stiffness, it seems appropriate to change running shoes after an intense wearing time of 6 months, particularly in genu varus individuals.

      Keywords

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