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The use of correct individually selected running shoes may reduce the incidence of running injuries. However, the runner needs to be aware of their foot anatomy to ensure the "correct" footwear is chosen.
The purpose of this study was to compare the individual runner's knowledge of their arch type to the arch index derived from a static footprint.
We examined 92 recreational runners with a mean age of 35.4±11.4 (12-63) years. A questionnaire was used to investigate the knowledge of the runners about arch height and overpronation. A clinical examination was undertaken using defined criteria and the arch index was analysed using weight-bearing footprints.
Forty-five runners (49%) identified their foot arch correctly. Eighteen of the 41 flat-arched runners (44%) identified their arch correctly. Twenty-four of the 48 normal-arched athletes (50%) identified their arch correctly. Three subjects with a high arch identified their arch correctly. Thirty-eight runners assessed themselves as overpronators; only four (11%) of these athletes were positively identified. Of the 34 athletes who did not categorize themselves as overpronators, four runners (12%) had clinical overpronation.
The findings of this research suggest that runners possess poor knowledge of both their foot arch and dynamic pronation.