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Why jogging in runners is more harmful than heels

Jogging in running shoes puts more strain on the joints than jogging barefoot, a study has shown.

It is also more stressful to knees than walking in high-heeled shoes, researchers found.

Scientists tested 68 young adults, including 37 women, who regularly went jogging. None had a history of musculoskeletal injury.

Participants were given running shoes of a typical design and observed running on a treadmill both barefoot and wearing the trainers. Torque forces on the joints were measured at the hip, knee and ankle.

The researchers found that wearing running shoes increased rotational stresses on the hip joints by an average 54pc, and heightened different types of stress on the knee by 36pc and 38pc. The extra strain was thought to be linked to the elevated heels and foot arch padding typical of modern running shoes.

Dr Casey Kerrigan, from Virginia, US, who led the study reported in PM&R: The Journal of Injury, Function and Rehabilitation, said: "Remarkably, the effect of running shoes on knee joint torques during running (36pc-38pc increase) that the authors observed here is even greater than the effect that was reported earlier of high-heeled shoes during walking (20pc-26pc increase). Considering that lower extremity joint loading is of a significantly greater magnitude during running than is experienced during walking, the current findings indeed represent substantial biomechanical changes."

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