International Journal of Exercise Science 13(6): 342-357, 2020. Consumers may purchase running shoes on the basis of their masses, yet little is known about shoe mass perceptual abilities. In this multi-part experiment, four groups of twenty-five young adult males (total n= 100) were challenged to gauge the relative masses of five unfamiliar running shoes. The four groups differed by the length of time they were given to wear the shoes (up to 1 minute versus 5 minutes) and whether or not they were able to use their own personal running shoes as a reference. After wearing each individual pair of shoes, participants provided perceived comfort and heaviness rankings using visual analogue scales (VAS). After wearing all five pairs of unfamiliar shoes, participants gave a verbal ranking of relative shoe mass. Participants also hefted the shoes with their hands and positioned them in order of relative mass. Extended wearing time improved overall verbal ranking accuracy, but did not improve mass perception accuracy as determined by comparing VAS heaviness rankings to actual shoe masses. Conversely, use of a personal reference shoe improved mass perception accuracy as determined by comparing VAS heaviness rankings to actual shoe masses, but did not improve overall verbal ranking accuracy. Hand perceptual scores were similar across the four groups, likely due to a ceiling effect. VAS comfort scores were unrelated to shoe masses. The results suggest that wearing time and reference shoes may influence mass perception by the lower limb in a context-specific manner.
Saxton, James G.; Mardis, Benjamin R.; Kliethermes, Christopher L.; and Senchina, David S.
"Somatosensory Perception of Running Shoe Mass may be influenced by Extended Wearing Time or Inclusion of a Personal Reference Shoe, Depending on Testing Method,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 13
6, Pages 342 - 357.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol13/iss6/7