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

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Safety of medical devices not often evaluated by sex, age, or race

July 25, 2017
Researchers at Yale and the University of California-San Francisco have found that few medical devices are analyzed to consider the influence of their users' sex, age, or race on safety and effectiveness.

Why you should consider more than looks when choosing a fitness tracker

July 25, 2017
A UNSW study of five popular physical activity monitors, including Fitbit and Jawbone models, has found their accuracy differs with the speed of activity, and where they are worn.

Dog walking could be key to ensuring activity in later life

July 24, 2017
A new study has shown that regularly walking a dog boosts levels of physical activity in older people, especially during the winter.

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

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.