The influence of the heel-to-toe drop of running shoes on injury risk in runners

Study Type: Randomized Trial
OE Level of Evidence: 1
Journal Level of Evidence: 1
Synopsis
553 leisure-time runners were randomized to three groups that differed only in the heel-to-toe drop (10mm, 6mm, or 0mm) of their running shoes. The investigators measured the risk of injury over 6 months. Overall, there were Please login to view the rest of this report. Please login to view the rest of this report.
Funding: Industry funded
Sponsor: Movement Sciences Department, Decathlon and the Luxembourg Institute of Health
Conflicts: Company Employee
CONTENT IS LOCKED
Why was this study needed now?
Little research has been conducted to scientifically assess the specific footwear features of running shoes and how they may affect the injury rates of runners. Running shoes offer a wider range of heel-to-toe shoe drops, with minimalist shoes (shoes designed to mimic barefoot running) offering a drop from 0 to 8mm, while conventional shoes typically possess a drop of 10 to 12mm. While studies have been conducted comparing the impacts of these differing heel-to-toe shoe drops on performance, there were none specifically assessing the relationship between shoe drop and the risk of injury in runners.
What was the principal research question?
In leisure-time runners, are running shoes with a lower shoe drop (0mm or 6mm) associated with a higher injury risk compared to conventional running shoes with a standard drop of 10mm when assessed over 6-month follow-up?
Population: 577 leisure-time runners, aged 18 to 65 years, in good health with no prior (in the last 12 months) use of minimalistic running shoes with drop less than 4 mm. Individuals with prior (<12 months) surgery of the lower limbs or lower back, and previous use of orthopaedic insoles for running were excluded. Participants were also categorized as occasional or regular runners (<6 months vs. ≥6 months of weekly practice over the previous 12 months). Volunteers were asked to perform at least 1 running activity per week during the 6-month follow-up, and that all running during the follow-up be completed with the study shoes.
Intervention: D0 group: Participants were given running shoes with a heel-to-toe offset of 0 mm (n=193; 187 analyzed) (Mean age: 38.6+/-9.9) D6 group: Participants were given running shoes with a heel-to-toe offset of 6 mm (n=194; 190 analyzed) (Mean age: 38.0+/-9.6)
Comparison: D10 group: Participants were given running shoes with a heel-to-toe offset of 10 mm (n=190; 176 analyzed) (Mean age: 38.3+/-9.7)
Outcomes: The primary outcome was the risk of injury over 6 months. The secondary outcome was to determine if running regularity, occasional (<6 months of weekly practice within the previous 12 months) vs. regular runners (>6 months of weekly practice within the previous 12 months), affected the risk of injury. Characteristics of the reported injuries were also recorded.
Methods: RCT
Time: 6-month follow-up period.
What were the important findings?
What should I remember most?
How will this affect the care of my patients?
The authors responsible for this critical appraisal and ACE Report indicate no potential conflicts of interest relating to the content in the original publication.