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Smart Shoes Could Help Runners Hit Their Stride

By Jesse Emspak

Running shoes may soon be smart enough to tell their wearers how to improve their technique, which could prevent injuries.  A cPMX0306Upgrade002_large (1)ombination of sensor technology, wireless communications and smartphone apps is transforming the humble running shoe into a sophisticated monitoring device. By closely monitoring how and where the runner’s foot hits the ground, and how often, innovators are finding ways to identify problems with a runner’s gait.

One such running shoe effort is the RUNSAFER project, which is ongoing at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany, in partnership with other universities and a shoe manufacturer. The researchers are building a running shoe that has sensors to transmit data to a smartphone, and then to a computer.

The shoe’s sensor logs data about the runner’s foot speed as it hits the ground, as well as its orientation in space, the duration of contact with the ground and the runner’s stride length. If the phone is out of Bluetooth range, the shoe will also store the data.

That data enables the software to calculate the forces acting on the foot. “It will tell you if the gait is correct,” said Andreas Heinig, a scientist at Fraunhofer who manages the wireless microsystems group. “The running provides real-time feedback.”

A gait that is slightly wrong can be a sign of injury, or plain old bad habits. But a bad gait can cause injuries, just as overtraining or falls can. The software can help the runner create a better running regimen.

There are still experiments to be done to improve the technology before it becomes available to consumers. The shoes could be on store shelves within two years, Heinig told LiveScience.

The project is just one of several such efforts coming out of the shoe industry, said Jay Dicharry, a physical therapist and lab director at the REP Biomechanics Lab in Bend, Ore. Pressure plates have been inserted into running shoes before, but in recent years, the technology has grown more ID-10062663sophisticated, he said.

For example, Pegasus Sports Performance, a U.S. company, has developed a shoe sensor that measures eight aspects of the foot’s motion as it hits the ground, including the dynamic of the kick. Pegasus’ system also links to a smartphone and the Internet.

However, Dicharry said that although researchers have focused their innovations on gathering data on the way the foot hits the ground, there are problems with relying on that data. For instance, there’s not necessarily one “right” way to run, because each person’s body is a bit different.

“There are thousands of variations of foot strikes that are all OK,” he said. “If you put a sensor on the shoe, it says how you strike, but not why.” In his own lab, Dicharry measures the movement of the leg and the angle of the body, as well as the position of the center of gravity.

Max Prokopy, director of the SPEED Clinic at the University of Virginia, has studied the techniques of elite runners. He said he agreed that the data from the feet alone isn’t always complete.

“You need more detail than foot insoles could give,” Prokopy said. “You need a full biomechanical exam.” Still, the new wearable technology is good for getting feedback quickly, and allowing the runner to try different postures, styles or strides, he said.

Original article on LiveScience.


The shocking images that reveal what diabetes can do to your feet in just 10 DAYS

  • 50-year-old man developed lesions on his feet after new shoes rubbed
  • The small lesions quickly escalated into a full-blown infection – within days his right foot was black, weeping pus and in urgent need of surgery
  • Every 30 seconds, a diabetic person in the world has a lower limb amputated
  • Condition leads to poor circulation and loss of feeling in the feet
  • This means patients don’t feel blisters and are more likely to get infections









The small lesions quickly escalated into a full-blown infection – within days his right foot was black, weeping pus and in urgent need of surgery.

His story, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, highlights the devastating impact diabetes can have on all parts of the body – especially the feet.

Every 30 seconds, someone in the world with the condition has a lower limb amputated, according to the charity Diabetes UK.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2518628/The-shocking-images-reveal-diabetes-feet-just-10-DAYS.html#ixzz2n0rciS1C

The First 100 Shoes to Cross the NYC Marathon Finish Line

Super interesting to see all of the shoe brands that finished within the top 100 of the NYC marathon, I counted them to get an idea of the numbers for each brand, I was surprised to see Nike and Adidas have such a lead on the competition for shoe choice with elite runners.nyc
Nike = 26%
Adidas = 25%
Brooks = 12%
Asics =  11%
New Bal = 11%
Saucony = 8%
Mizuno = 5%
Puma = 2%
Diadora = 2%
Sketcher = 1%

Is it marketing or function and quality that has contributed to these stats?  An interesting question, I suspect that the size of the company also has something to do with it.  This line up of pictures also shows the prevalence of mid-foot and forefoot strikers amongst the heel strikers.



8 Tips For Dealing With Over-Supinated Foot Types.

Over supinated foot types are always a difficult foot to deal with, the patient can present with:

  • Lateral instabilitysup copy
  • IT band pain
  • Peroneal tendonitis
  • May be prone  to ankle sprains
  • Sacroiliac jamming(which can also be a source of low back pain)

Here are 8 adjustments that can be made to the orthoses to help with this foot type, these adjustments could be used individually or in combination to whatever degree is necessary to achieve the desired outcome.

  • Add a valgus strip post from heel to either the sulcus or toe
  • Deepen lateral heel cup, usually between 24mm and 26mm deep(may need to accommodate the cuboid if prominent)
  •  High lateral flange
  • Lateral Heel Skive
  • Add 0 degree Rearfoot post
  • Narrow the medial aspect of the orthoses.
  • Add plantar lateral arch fill
  • Add a valgus tip or full Forefoot post

Although a very difficult foot in the office, these minor changes can provide much needed relief.

Navicular Drop Before and After Fatigue of the Ankle Invertor Muscles

Fredrick Anthony Gardin, PhD, ATC, CSCS; David Middlemas, EdD, ATC; Jennifer L. Williams,ATC; Steven Leigh, PhD; and Rob R. Horn, PhD • Montclair State University

Context: Navicular drop is widely believed to be an indicator offlat foot

elevated susceptibility
to pronation-related injuries, which may be increased by fatigue in the muscles that dynamically support the medial longitudinal arch.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate navicular drop before and after fatigue of the ankle invertor muscles among individuals with different foot types. Participants: 20 male and 16 female recreationally active, college-age volunteers (20.03 ± 1.48 years of age).

Full research study PDF fille.08Gardin

Study: Wearing high heels causes long-term foot damage, “clawing of the toes”

Ej Dickson, Salon

12 weeks ago

(Credit: Screenshot, YouTube)Bad news for clubgoers and upscale shoe fetishists: those gravity-defying Louboutins in your closet are causing irreversible damage to your ankle and foot,says a team of British orthopedic specialists.

Using revolutionary 3D scanning technology, researchers at North London’s Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital have created an image of a contorted, misshapen female foot in a high-heeled shoe. For the first time ever, the animation, which was compiled from hundreds of 2D scans of patients’ feet, allows doctors to see the effects of wearing high heels “in real time,” providing irrefutable evidence of the long-term damage caused by wearing such shoes.

In a press release for the study, consulting orthopedic surgeon Andy Goldberg says that instead of looking at isolated X-rays of a foot and ankle from one angle, the PEDCat 3D scanner lets doctors see how the foot and ankle function inside shoes “fully weight bearing.” “This will help us treat patients earlier to prevent long term problems, and influence the design of new and better footwear in the future,” says Goldberg.

In the above animation, Goldberg further explains the grisly effects of prolonged high heel-wearing on the feet, including intense pain and “fixed clawing of the toes” (which is like elf feet, but in reverse). “For many years,” Goldberg adds “our feet have had to fit into someone else’s ideas of someone else’s ideas of our shoes rather than making shoes to fit our feet, and that paradigm has to change.” Food for thought next time you’re shopping for heels that the TSA would classify as lethal weapons.

Original article Salon

2000 diabetes related amputations in Canada annually

dia3Complications from diabetic foot wounds alone led to more than 2,000 amputations across Canada in 2011–2012. Early detection and treatment can reduce the need for and prevalence of amputations. The costs of amputations have been found to be 10 to 40 times greater than the cost of effective initiatives to prevent amputation.

Free PDF file: Compromised Wounds in Canada: FULL

Join us Oct 4 at the CFPM conference in Toronto



It is our distinct privilege and
Pleasure to invite you to our booth at the 2013 Canadian Federation of Podiatric Medicine 14th Annual Clinical Conference on Oct. 4 & 5, 2013 in Toronto, ON. This year’s program offers chiropodists, podiatrists, office staff and other health professionals the opportunity to attend a dynamic, educational conference that is essential to your professional development.

The effects of listening to music or viewing television on human gait.

This paper presents a two-part study with walking conditions involving musictreadminlland television (TV) to investigate their effects on human gait. In the first part, we observed seventeen able-bodied adults as they participated in three 15-minute walking trials: (1) without music, (2) with music and (3) without music again. For Abstract click here.


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh, 3700 O’Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA, USA. Electronic address: esejdic@ieee.org.