IMAR is engaged in a series of projects concerning footwear and biomechanics, which could ultimately help shoe manufacturers, design footwear to better protect the foot and ankle from related injury.
An example of the wide reaching aspects of the work of IMAR can be seen from a large study of commonly available footwear. One such study evaluated the support offered by different brands of running shoe. This study originally began 12 years ago. The proposal was to take a sample of running shoes from three brands/ price categories (inexpensive, medium and expensive) to see which was best. It is likely that most people would assume that the more expensive the running shoe the better its design and structure, and also that they would offer the runner a superior level of comfort and support.
We compared comfort, pressure attenuation and shock absorption within each of the categories and the results showed that the inexpensive and medium priced shoes were just as good, if not better in some instances, then the most expensive. In other words, paying more for your sports shoes does not guarantee a better shoe. The first phase of this study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine formed a small part of a larger project which evaluated many aspects of running shoes, and in fact, we have now studied over 100 pairs of running shoes of different designs.
Examples of published articles: