Volunteers wanted for athletic shoe study: UMass Amherst


Researchers in the UMass Amherst Department of Kinesiology are seeking participants for a study they are conducting in partnership with shoe company OOFOS.

The aim of the study is to understand how wearing shoes with a conformal energy-absorbing midsole material outside of athletic training sessions influences movement mechanics, performance, and perceived joint pain and stiffness. . Advances in materials science have led to a wider range of cushioning system material properties and shoe midsole and outsole geometries. Although there are many marketing claims about the potential benefits of this new class of products, these have yet to be investigated in well-designed scientific studies.


Volunteers for this study must be between the ages of 22 and 45, training for a road or track race, and running at least 35 miles/week. They must not have missed more than one consecutive race due to pain or injury in the past six weeks.

Qualified participants will be invited to make two visits approximately six weeks apart to the UMass Biomechanics Lab in the Totman Building on the UMass Amherst campus. Eligible participants will complete a set of validated lower extremity pain and function questionnaires. At each visit, biomechanical, performance and neuromuscular function tests will be performed. This will include gait analysis and muscle strength testing. After each lab visit, participants will receive a physical activity and heart rate monitor. They will be asked to wear the activity monitor continuously for five days and capture physical activity and a heart rate monitor strap for two nights and one day to monitor heart rate variability.

Participants will be randomly assigned to either the control group or the intervention group at the end of the first visit. Participants in both groups will be asked to complete a bi-weekly injury history report indicating the number of workouts missed due to injury, location of pain/injury and whether treatment was sought. Participants training for a marathon will be asked to keep a training diary of distance and training time for each day.

Each participant, regardless of their intervention or control group, will be offered OOFOS shoes after their participation. Participants will also receive cash totaling $125 for their efforts. Interested persons should email [email protected]


Comments are closed.