Effects of Insoles and Additional Shock Absorption Foam on the Cushioning Properties of Sport Shoes

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Hung-Ta Chiu National Cheng Kung University

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Tzyy-Yuang Shiang Taipei Physical Education College

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of insoles and additional shock absorption foam on the cushioning properties of various sport shoes with an impact testing method. Three commercial sport shoes were used in this study, and shock absorption foam (TPE5020; Vers Tech Science Co. Ltd., Taiwan) with 2-mm thickness was placed below the insole in the heel region for each shoe. Eight total impacts with potential energy ranged from 1.82 to 6.08 J were performed onto the heel region of the shoe. The order of testing conditions was first without insole, then with insole, and finally interposing the shock absorption foam for each shoe. Peak deceleration of the striker was measured with an accelerometer attached to the striker during impact. The results of this study seemed to show that the insole or additional shock absorption foam could perform its shock absorption effect well for the shoes with limited midsole cushioning. Further, our findings showed that insoles absorbed more, even up to 24–32% of impact energy under low impact energy. It seemed to indicate that insoles play a more important role in cushioning properties of sport shoes under a low impact energy condition.

Chiu is with the Institute of Physical Education, Health and Leisure Studies, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan, and Shiang is with the Institute of Sports Equipment Technology, Taipei Physical Education College, Taipei, Taiwan.

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