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*Sensory Attenuation Induced By Modern Athletic Footwear

TITLE: Sensory Attenuation Induced By Modern Athletic Footwear 1988-2.pdf

Accessible Summary:

Purpose: To test the "pseudoneuropathic" causation mechanism previously proposed which advanced the notion that athletic injuries associated with athletic shoes were caused by unknowingly overloading due to plantar sensory isolation caused by footwear.

Synopsis: A experiment was performed whereby subjects estimated plantar surface loads, up to the amplitude seen when running.  There were three conditions: wearing modern running shoes, when their bare feet was placed on the smooth rigid surface of the testing apparatus and when gravel was placed between the foot and apparatus. Subjects underestimated load with athletic shoes and smooth rigid surface, but were accurate with the gravel condition. Localized skin deformations such as from gravel are required for precise load judgment.


This experiment supports the notion that the mechanism of injury for injury associated with impact while wearing shoes resembles neuropathic injury.

This experiment was the first to provide data suggesting that the SA II mechanoreceptor is used to judge plantar load.