No Effect of EVA and TPU Custom Foot Orthoses on Mechanical Asymmetries during Acute Intense Fatigue
Van Alsenoy, Ken K.
Ryu, Joong Hyun
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Van Alsenoy, K., Ryu, J.H. and Girard, O. (2023) ‘No effect of eva and tpu custom foot orthoses on mechanical asymmetries during acute intense fatigue’, Symmetry, 15(3), p. 705. Available at: https://doi.org/10.3390/sym15030705.
This study examined the impact of custom foot orthoses made of ethyl-vinyl acetate (EVA) and expanded thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) materials, both compared to a control condition (CON; shoes only), on mechanical asymmetries during repeated treadmill sprints. Eighteen well-trained male runners executed eight, 5-s sprints (rest: 25 s) on an instrumented motorized treadmill in three footwear conditions (EVA, TPU, and CON). We evaluated the group mean asymmetry scores using the ‘symmetry angle’ (SA) formula, which assigns a score of 0% for perfect symmetry and a score of 100% for perfect asymmetry. There was no condition (all p ≥ 0.053) or time (p ≥ 0.074) main effects, nor were there any significant time × condition interactions on SA scores for any variables (p ≥ 0.640). Mean vertical, horizontal, and total forces presented mean SA values (pooled values for the three conditions) of 2.6 ± 1.9%, 2.9 ± 1.6%, and 2.4 ± 1.8%, respectively. Mean SA scores were ~1–3% for contact time (1.5 ± 0.5%), flight time (3.0 ± 0.3%), step frequency (1.1 ± 0.5%), step length (1.9 ± 0.7%), vertical stiffness (2.1 ± 0.9%), and leg stiffness (2.4 ± 1.1%). Mean SA scores were ~2–6.5% for duration of braking (4.1 ± 1.6%) and propulsive (2.4 ± 1.0%) phases, and peak braking (6.2 ± 2.9%) and propulsive (2.1 ± 1.4%) forces. In well-trained runners facing intense fatigue, wearing custom foot orthoses did not modify the observed low-to-moderate natural stride mechanical asymmetries.