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Flip-Flops, Heels Examined for Performance, Impact
Date:5/29/2008

nd choose a flip-flop with more

support.

-- Flip-flops should be replaced often. However, many people claim

flip-flops are the most comfortable when they are "broken in,"

just like a pair of sneakers. Flip-flops should be replaced every few

months just as a runner would with running shoes.

Analysis of High-Heels

A new study supports the notion that women should use caution when descending stairs in heels, this time from a biomechanical perspective. An analysis of the motion at the ankle joint shows that walking in high heels down stairs may cause an unstable gait pattern that could lead to an injury of the leg or foot.

The study examined barefoot to low (one inch) and high (two-and-a-half inch) heels with several views of the foot and the heel to determine what patterns of motion predict how the lower leg and foot activate at these different heel heights.

While the heel strike force was the softest in the high heels, the force on the toe was highest in this shoe. Greater toe-off force is required to propel the body forward, and potentially contributes to the instability that may result in injury, particularly after long-term wear.

Researchers also found that when barefoot, participants had the highest heel strike. They also noted that when walking barefoot, participants landed with greater force at the heel strike, which may indicate a more confident approach to the last step.

"Walking barefoot has its advantages, such as giving the intrinsic muscles of the foot more work and therefore making them stronger," said Wendy Miletello, Ph.D., who was involved in the study. "Stronger feet mean more stability for the entire body."

"High heels are very common, at work or in our culture of fashion, and of course going up and down stairs is something we commonly do, even unconsciously at times," said Lalitha Balasubramanian, lead author of the study. "This initial look at wh
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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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