“We found that when people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back,” Shroyer said. “Variations like this at the foot can result in changes up the kinetic chain, which in this case can extend upward in the wearer’s body.”
The researchers, in the AU College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology, recruited 39 college-age men and women for the study. Participants, wearing thong-style flip-flops and then traditional athletic shoes, walked a platform that measured vertical force as the walkers’ feet hit the ground. In addition, a video camcorder measured stride length and limb angles.
Shroyer’s team found that flip-flop wearers took shorter steps and that their heels hit the ground with less vertical force than when the same walkers wore athletic shoes. When wearing flip-flops, the study participants did not bring their toes up as much during the leg’s swing phase, resulting in a larger ankle angle and shorter stride length, possibly because they tended to grip the flip-flops with their toes.
Shroyer, who owns two pairs of flip-flops himself, said the research does not suggest that people should never wear flip-flops. They can be worn to provide short-term benefits such as helping beach-goers avoid sandy shoes or giving athletes post-game relief from their athletic shoes, but are not designed to properly support the foot and ankle during all-day wear, and, like athletics shoes, should be replaced every three to four months.
“Flip-flops are a mainstay for students on college campuses but they’re just not designed for that kind of use,” he said.
The study included thong-style flip-flops from well-known retailers and manufacturers and ranged in price from $5 to $50. Athletic shoes included in the study also ranged in price and style.
Shroyer’s interest in flip-flops has other footwear applications, as well as applications in other areas of biomechanics research. He will apply conclusions from the study on the effects of wearing flip-flops to his dissertation research on specialty athletics shoes and how they support the foot and aid in biomechanic performance.
For a publication quality image, go to http://wireeagle.auburn.edu/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/flipflop.jpg.
Cutline for image: Auburn University biomechanics doctoral student Justin Shroyer places reflective markers on the foot of Ph.D. student Joanna Booker. Shroyer led an AU research team in a study of the effects of flip-flops versus those of athletic shoes.
Auburn University has provided instruction, research and outreach to benefit the state and nation for more than 150 years, and is among a distinctive group of universities designated as Land, Sea, and Space Grant institutions. AU makes a nearly $5 billion economic contribution to the state each year, has more than 250,000 graduates and provides 130 degree programs to more than 24,000 graduate and undergraduate students.
Mike Clardy | newswise
Infants later diagnosed with autism follow adults’ gaze, but seldom initiate joint attention
24.05.2019 | Schwedischer Forschungsrat - The Swedish Research Council
When wheels and heads are spinning - DFG research project on motion sickness in automated driving
22.05.2019 | Technische Universität Berlin
Researchers from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg present a new method which can double the energy of a proton beam produced by laser-based particle accelerators. The breakthrough could lead to more compact, cheaper equipment that could be useful for many applications, including proton therapy.
Proton therapy involves firing a beam of accelerated protons at cancerous tumours, killing them through irradiation. But the equipment needed is so large and...
A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.
The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...
Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...
Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
15.04.2019 | Event News
27.05.2019 | Information Technology
27.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
27.05.2019 | Life Sciences