J. Newberg, J. Johnston, J. Steele, J. White, and W. M. Silvers

Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

The cushioning system and weight of a new, unique style of running shoe has been purported to reduce impact, decrease ground contact time, improve running form, and speed up running pace. PURPOSE: To determine the differences in heart rate (HR) and 2-mi running time trial (TT) performance while wearing a new, unique style of performance running shoes versus preferential running shoes. METHODS: Convenience sampling was used to recruit ten physically active participants (90-300-min. of running per week) between the ages of 18-33 years old. Prior to testing, all participants completed two, 2-mi TT familiarization sessions. For the testing sessions, participants wore their own preferential running shoes and the unique running shoes in their respective size. The style of shoe worn for the experimental (unique shoes) and control (preferential shoes) treatments was randomly ordered based on a simple coin flip. In the first TT session participants’ preferential running shoes were weighed, as well as the unique shoes in the respective sizes. Participants performed a 5-min warm-up at a self-selected pace on the treadmill. The 2-mi TT began immediately following the warm-up. Participants were not able to see the time, distance elapsed, or speed, but could adjust the speed as desired. The elapsed time of the 2-mi run and HR was recorded before, after, and at every quarter-mile. RESULTS: There were no statistical differences between the unique running shoes and the preferential running shoes for HR (p=0.31; 175.3±9.8-bpm vs. l72.0±12.7-bpm, respectively) or TT (p=0.17; 14.7±1.8-min vs. 15.3±2.3-min, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest that the cushioning system employed by a new, unique style of running shoe did not improve 2-mi running TT performance or affect the HR response at those running speeds. However, descriptive data indicated faster 2-mi TT times for the unique shoes and the beta value was very high. Therefore, it is possible that with more participants, a statistically significant difference in TT times may have been observed. Consequently, further research should utilize more participants to increase statistical power and to verify the present findings.

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