THE EVOLUTION OF ATHLETIC FOOTWEAR
Keywords: biomechanics, footwear, athletic footwear, lower extremity mechanics
AbstractThe purpose of this presentation is to discuss the evolution of athletic footwear and how biomechanics has influenced this evolution. Footwear has undergone a significant evolution from the Paleolithic period to modern times. The origins of footwear emphasized protection from the environment. During the Egyptian, Greek and Roman eras, the need for military shoes drove the development of footwear. It was not until the 19th century that specific footwear for athletic performance was designed. Footwear were improved significantly during the first half of the 20th century but it was not until the latter portion of this century that biomechanics truly had an influence on footwear design. The intersection of biomechanics, injury risk factors and footwear development paralleled the growth in lower extremity research. More recently, the interest in barefoot running has driven the development of minimalist footwear.
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