High-tech trainers more likely to cause injury, new study suggests
Runners wearing high-tech expensive trainers are more likely to injure themselves than those who use simpler shoes with no cushioning, new research suggests. A study found thinner trainers encourages athletes to land on the ball of their foot rather than the heel, putting significantly less stress on the body. Those wearing traditional trainers, by contrast, exert a much higher “loading rate”, the speed which force is applied to the body when a runner’s foot hits the ground.
Running as a sport or simply a means of keeping fit continues to grow in popularity. Figures from Sport England earlier this year revealed that two million people in the UK are now running regularly, a jump of 73 per cent in the past decade. However, injury rates have not fallen despite decades of research. Dr Hannah Rice, who led the research at the University of Exeter, said: “So many people use running as a means of reducing the risk of chronic disease, but about three-quarters of runners typically get injured in a year.
“Footwear is easily modifiable but many runners are misguided when it comes to buying new trainers. This research shows that running in minimal shoes and landing on the balls of your feet reduces loading rates and may therefore reduce the risk of injury.” The research found that modern-day runners in cushioned footwear tend to land on their heel, known as a “rearfoot strike”, while those who run barefoot are more likely to perform a “forefoot strike”, landing on the ball of the foot. Rearfoot strike runners experience an abrupt vertical impact force each time the foot lands on the ground.
That impact force is often missing when running with a forefoot strike, but previous research has shown that forward-backwards and sideways forces can be higher, meaning the total force is similar. “This seems to suggest that, for runners in traditional, cushioned running shoes, foot strike pattern may not matter for injury risk,” said Dr Rice. “However, we suspect that the same may not be true of runners who regularly use minimal shoes, which don’t have the cushioning provided by traditional running shoes.” She said that becoming accustomed to running minimal shoes that lack cushioning promotes a landing with the lowest loading rates, and that this is likely to reduce the risk of injury.
Britain’s passion for running has been fuelled in recent years by mass events such as ParkRun, the free, weekly Saturday morning 5km even held across the country, to large city marathons. A record number of people - just under a quarter of a million - applied for a place in the 2016 London Marathon, more than 55 per cent of whom had not run seriously before. A pair of brand-new cushioned trainers, such as Asics men’s Metarun, can cost around £200, whereas minimal running shoes can be bought for around £30. The most common running-related injuries are what is commonly called “runner’s knee”, a tender pain around or behind the kneecap, achilles tendinitis and shin splints. Stress fracture and ankle sprains are also a risk, although less common.
Source: The Telegraph
Questions 1-5: Choose one correct answer only for each question.
1. Which factor causes the difference in injury rate between those using high-tech trainers and simpler shoes?
a. The new research
b. Stress on the body
d. Relationship between runners’ foot and heel
2. Which two figures are rising at the same time?
a. The number of researches on running and injury rates
b. The number of runners and injury rates
c.The sales of footwear and the number of people with chronic diseases
d. The number of runners and the sales of footwear
3. According to researchers, runners using traditional shoes may not suffer accidents just because of:
a. Foot strike pattern
b. Total force that running generates
c. Forward-backwards and sideways forces
d. The cushioning provided by traditional running shoes
4. Which factor leads to the rising popularity of running as an activity?
a. The growth of minimal shoes
b. The 2016 London Marathon
c. Large city marathons
d. Large-scale events that involve a lot of people running together
5. What makes cushioned trainers and minimal running shoes different?
a. Their typical lengths
b. Their groups of customers
c. Their impacts on runners’ health
d. Their prices
Please find the keys here.