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Influence of running shoes and cross-trainers on Achilles tendon forces during running compared with military boots

Abstract

Military recruits are known to be susceptible to Achilles tendon pathology. The British Army have introduced footwear models, the PT-03 (cross-trainer) and PT1000 (running shoes), in an attempt to reduce the incidence of injuries. The aim of the current investigation was to examine the Achilles tendon forces of the cross-trainer and running shoe in relation to conventional army boots. Ten male participants ran at 4.0 m/s in each footwear condition. Achilles tendon forces were obtained throughout the stance phase of running and compared using repeated-measures ANOVAs. The results showed that the time to peak Achilles tendon force was significantly shorter when running in conventional army boots (0.12 s) in comparison with the cross-trainer (0.13 s) and running shoe (0.13 s). Achilles tendon loading rate was shown to be significantly greater in conventional army boots (38.73 BW/s) in comparison with the cross-trainer (35.14 BW/s) and running shoe (33.57 BW/s). The results of this study suggest that the running shoes and cross-trainer footwear are associated with reductions in Achilles tendon parameters that have been linked to the aetiology of injury, and thus it can be hypothesised that these footwear could be beneficial for military recruits undertaking running exercises.

  • Achilles tendon
  • Running
  • Footwear

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