Sole Sensitivity

Sole feelings. Research in Australia considered the ability to sense ankle invesion, the turning of the ankle inward toward the body. The Australian women’s national soccer team were the subjects, and thier barefoot scores were higher than their shoe-wearing scores. Padding that reduces sensory feedback from the soles appears to lead to a greater liklihood of injury; in one study, basketball players wearing air-cushioned shoes were four times as likely to get ankle injuries as players wearing regular shoes. Interestingly, by placing small nodules in the insole (3 mm, four per cm2), the soccer player’s sensitivity was returned to barefoot level. Take-home message: unless you only run on very hard surfaces, minimal cushioning and maximum feedback thorugh your shoes appears likely to reduce injuries. (Research published in British J. Sports Medicine, Vol. 37, p. 170.) (Also see Tips page, on buying shoes.) (4/17)

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