Will an Aetrex® Orthotic Improve Your Performance as a Runner?

In 2016, users of the popular fitness tracking app, Strava logged a staggering number of miles ran; equivalent to 900 return trips to the moon. In the UK alone, almost 17 million runs were uploaded last year, spread between roughly 2 million runners. Activity frequency was nearly twice that of the previous year.  These are incredible figures that demonstrate the sport is becoming increasingly popular.

There is no argument that fitness is essential to optimum well-being and running is one of the most accessible.  While it has been recognised to have significant health benefits, it does also come with a higher risk of injury than some other sports.

Running-related injuries (RRIs) are an extremely common side effect and frequently occur in novice runners.

Some ideas imply a majority of RRIs arise due to the design of modern shoes, while others counter-argue that barefoot running is the principal cause. It has been demonstrated that there are differences in striking patterns between the two. Barefoot runners land on their forefoot while those donning trainers predominantly land on their hind-foot.

A Cochrane review suggests that when wearing custom-made insoles, the likelihood of shin splints is reduced. On the back of this, we ask ourselves “does the use of an Aetrex® orthotic increase comfort, decrease injury, and improve running performance?” Our belief is a resounding YES. We hypothesise that the use of orthotics will lessen the overall risk of RRIs.

Currently, there is not enough documented evidence to prove our theory; we would like to change that.

Over a period of six weeks, we are looking to carry out research to show the benefits of wearing a fitted orthotic to runners. To perform this experiment, we are looking for 100 willing participants.

We will provide the orthotic using our Aetrex® IStep® equipment to determine the volunteer’s foot type and match the appropriate solution. As a result of our study, we want to demonstrate the significant difference in (i) the level of comfort while running, (ii) reducing running-related injuries, and (iii) improving the running performance. The orthotic must be properly fitted for each participant to allow for accurate data extrapolation.

We are looking for 100 participants between the age of 20 and 75 years old, who have never used an orthotic and have been a regular runner for a minimum of two years.  We define “regular” as someone who runs at least 365 miles a year.

To keep the results accurate, we are unable to monitor you if you have pain or deformity in the foot unrelated to any particular running injury; suffer from a serious health condition; undergone any surgery in the last six months; or have undergone any surgery in the foot during your lifetime.

When taking part, we ask you to run within your normal range with and without the orthotic on alternate weeks. We also ask you to keep track of your running times. The importance of participants running within their normal, comfortable range, and not to either voluntarily increase or decrease speed and distance is to ensure a consistent effort factor throughout the four weeks.

If you would like to participate, please get in touch by entering your details.