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

October 9, 2012, Loyola University Health System

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

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

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.