Research finds pros, cons in athletic shoes

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Does it matter what type of insole an athlete wears when it comes to athletic performance? Senior LeMar Anglin conducted an experiment on how athletes performed while wearing different insoles.

His experiment included 24 athletes from Pacific who wore two different midsoles and a control shoe. One midsole was designed to make an athlete more explosive, while the other was tailored towards improving quickness. A typical volleyball shoe was used as the control shoe.

Anglin’s experiment tested if these shoes improved what they were advertised to do. Athletes participated in balance, speed and jumping tests. The first trial athletes participated in was the speed test. The athletes ran around cones to test for agility, and then they were timed on a short sprint. Each athlete wore each insole twice for a total of six trials. Second was the jump test, where Anglin recorded the athlete’s vertical jump. Fifteen trials were conducted, five in each shoe. Lastly were the landing and stability tests to measure balance. Subjects dropped from a 60-centimeter box, trying their best to maintain control when landing. Twenty-four trials were conducted, eight in each shoe. Six trials, two in each shoe, were then conducted to measure the subject’s stability while standing on an unsteady block of foam.

Anglin found no significant correlation between performance of the athletes and the insoles they were wearing.

He was not overly surprised by this finding, but he says that the results could have been due to a couple holes in his methodology.

Anglin said some of the basketball players were not as adapt to the speed course as many of the football players were and that the basketball players were significantly faster on later trials after they figured out the course. Also, the control shoe was a low top shoe, while the shoe used for the two insoles was a higher-top Jordan brand shoe.

Anglin said that the different shape of the shoe could have had an effect on the athlete’s mobility.

Anglin, who played basketball for Pacific, claims he chose this experiment because of his love for shoes.


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