Study examines link between runners' foot injuries, ill-fitting shoes

October 9, 2012

Loyola University Medical Center researchers are conducting a first-of-its kind study of marathon runners to determine if there is link between foot injuries and ill-fitting shoes.

Researchers will survey runners in the Oct. 7 Chicago Marathon who seek treatment for foot and ankle injuries in the podiatry tent.

Researchers will ask runners their chief complaint for entering the podiatry tent, and measure the runners' feet and shoe sizes. Researchers will record how many marathons each runner has completed and the brand and style of the runner's shoes and socks.

Runners also will be asked to estimate how many miles they have put on their shoes. (Experts generally recommend replacing shoes after about 500 miles, but some runners keep their shoes much longer.) Runners who use minimalist shoes that mimic barefoot running will not be included in the study.

Previous studies have examined shoe fit and foot injuries in special populations such as in and the elderly. The Loyola study is the first to examine the association between shoe fit and foot injuries in marathon runners, said Loyola Katherine Dux, DPM, principal investigator of the study.

Nearly every year since 2003, Dux has volunteered her time to treat Chicago in the podiatry tent. (The exception was 2010, when she ran the marathon herself.) Usually, between 200 and 400 runners seek treatment for such injuries as blisters, toenail injuries, plantar fasciitis (), foot stress fractures and sprained ankles.

"Most of these injuries are related to improper shoes, socks or training," Dux said.

Shoes that are either too small or too large can cause injuries. Many runners buy shoes that are a half-a-size or a full size too large, to allow for foot swelling during running and to make room for their orthotics.

Dux advises that when buying , wear your normal running socks and orthotics, and buy late in the day after your feet have become swollen from walking around all day.

Explore further: The Olympics and bare feet: What have we learned?

Related Stories

The Olympics and bare feet: What have we learned?

July 27, 2012
Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila made history when he earned a gold medal at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. His speed and agility won him the gold, but it was barefoot running that made him a legend.

Born to run barefoot? Some end up getting injured

May 22, 2012
(AP) -- Swept by the barefoot running craze, ultramarathoner Ryan Carter ditched his sneakers for footwear that mimics the experience of striding unshod.

Recommended for you

Americans misinformed about smoking

August 22, 2017
After voluminous research studies, numerous lawsuits and millions of deaths linked to cigarettes, it might seem likely that Americans now properly understand the risks of smoking.

Women who sexually abuse children are just as harmful to their victims as male abusers

August 21, 2017
"That she might seduce a helpless child into sexplay is unthinkable, and even if she did so, what harm can be done without a penis?"

To reduce postoperative pain, consider sleep—and caffeine

August 18, 2017
Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health, and chronic insufficient sleep increases the risk for several chronic health problems.

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.