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*Effect of Midsole Hardness and Thickness on Proprioception in Older Men

TITLE: Effect of Midsole Hardness and Thickness on Proprioception and Stability in Older Men 1997-1.pdf

Accessible Summary:

Purpose: Previous reports suggested that when wearing footwear, humans rely of muscle receptors of the ankle and foot for foot position judgments.  Muscle receptors are subject to "aftereffects"  rapid high amplitude stimuli account for loss their sensitivity.   This reports tests the hypothesis that rapid frontal plane (medial-lateral) movement caused by footwear sole materials causes loss in foot position awareness. Loss of foot position awareness is known to cause instability and a high amplitude behavioral response to instability that increases amplified impact.

Synopsis: Frontal plane foot movement and stability was tested in subjects wearing footwear that varied in midsole hardness and thickness.  Optical testing system was used to measure frontal plane foot movement.  Stability was tested using standard methods.

Significance: Frontal plane foot movement was closely correlated with stability.  This supports the hypothesis that frontal plane movement caused by footwear results in loss of foot position awareness, with resulting loss of stability.