Friday, December 15, 2017

Soft Tissues In Feet And Shoe Type

Interesting study. It's been shown before that minimalist shoes increase muscle size in the feet, an effect that any barefoot-style runner has experienced first-hand.

But I wonder how much of the differences noted here are a chicken-and-egg situation, where runners with the right traits self-select into minimalist shoes? In other words, do the people whose Achilles tendon is too thin have injury and stop using them?

It's not known how much a tendon can adapt, and I can't certainly attest that it's no small task to try to make them!

The abductor hallucis is the muscle that controls the big toe. I get consistent soreness in that muscle in my weak foot, for instance, and you would think that eight years of nearly exclusive use of minimalist shoes and barefoot would be enough time to adapt...

Similarly, do the runners with a thinner heel pad select the insoles because they need insoles to heel strike?

"Recreational runners using minimalistic shoes demonstrated stiffer foot arches than those using neutral shoes. Among the selected foot muscles, only abductor hallucis showed a significant morphological difference between shoe groups. Runners using minimalistic shoes had the thickest abductor hallucis. The minimalistic shoe runners also showed a thinner proximal plantar fascia and a thicker Achilles tendon than other runners. Insole runners had a thinner heel pad than neutral shoe runners."

The morphology of foot soft tissues is associated with running shoe type in healthy recreational runners.

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