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Shoe Material Effects on Foot Temperature during Treadmill
Running
Erin M. Poss,1 Brogan L. Austin,2 Gwendolyn J. Baumgardner,3 Nicholas M. Budden4, Shauna-Kaye V. Campbell,4
Samantha J. Carlson,4 Ty C. Drake,5 Guy M. Eckman,4 Kelly L. Lawrence,4 Holly M. Nelson,4 Rachel M. Barkley,1 David S. Senchina6
1Biochemistry,
Cell, and Molecular Biology Program; 2College of Education; 3College of Journalism & Mass Communication; 4College of Business & Public
Administration; 5College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences; 6Biology Department, Drake University, Des Moines, IA, 50311
ABSTRACT:
Running shoes are made from a variety of materials such as leather or
mesh. Material type and assembly likely impact on foot heat dynamics during
running. The purpose of this study was to investigate how foot temperature during
running was modulated by different shoes. All protocols were approved by the
Drake IRB (ID 2009-10088). Eleven male subjects (21.6  1.7 yrs) completed four
10-minute running trials at self-selected but constant speeds on a treadmill in four
different running shoes (two mesh and two leather). Foot temperature was
recorded at two sites on top of the right foot arch (against the skin and between
the sock and shoe) for the 10 minutes during running and 5 minutes of resting
recovery post-running. Heart rate and subjective ratings of perceived comfort and
heat were recorded throughout. There were no statistical differences in foot heat
accumulation during running between the shoes. During the 5 minutes postexercise, three of the shoe models accommodated heat dissipation whereas foot
temperature in the fourth model significantly increased during rest (all
p0.031). Temperature was always greater at the skin site versus the sock site,
but fluctuation patterns between the two sites were congruent. Subjects’ rated the
mesh shoes as more comfortable than the leather shoes (p=0.016); curiously,
however, there were no differences in heat perception across shoes
(p=0.184). These results suggest that (a) shoe material influences foot heat
dynamics during and immediately after running and (b) subjects’ perceptions of
foot temperature may not coincide with actual foot temperature.
INTRODUCTION:
• The ability of a shoe to dissipate foot heat generated during running may impact
on performance in long-distance events and foot health long-term. Uppers can be
made from leather or mesh; leather ventilates less but has better structure.
Figure 2
Running shoes used
in this study (left to right).
(a) Adidas Uraha.
(b) Adidas_1 DLX.
(c) Nike Tailwind.
(d) Nike T-Lite VIII.
Adidas Uraha
Adidas_1 DLX
Nike Tailwind
Nike T-Lite VIII
Skin, 0-10 min
+1.98  0.49
+2.18  0.55
+2.37  0.49
+2.06  0.47
Sock, 0-10 min
+1.54  0.6
+1.86  0.68
+2.36  0.6
+2.75  0.59
Skin, 10-15 min
-0.86  0.46
+1.35  0.52**
-0.72  0.46
-0.67  0.45
Sock, 10-15 min
+0.17  0.43
+1.65  0.48**
-0.28  0.43
-0.6  0.44
Table 1—Changes in foot temperature (expressed as C mean  standard
error) by time point and site. Asterisks indicate a statistically significant
difference (p<0.05) for that cell compared to others in its same row.
• Since 70% of sweat production occurs on the upper foot (and hence the bulk of
evaporative cooling; [3]), it is the best location for measuring foot temperature.
METHODS:
 Figure 1. Sites for attachment of the 2 thermometers, 1
against the skin (top) and 1 at the same site between the
sock and the shoe (bottom).
Figure 3—Compared to the other 3 shoes, foot temperature in the Adidas_1 DLX
shoe continued to increase during rest, resulting in a statistically-significant
difference between this shoe and all others at both the skin and sock
thermometers (all p0.031). Foot temperature in the other shoes generally
decreased during rest (see also Table 1).
Table 2—There were significant differences in subjects’ perceptions of shoe
comfort (p=0.016). Subjects perceived the Adidas Uraha as significantly more
comfortable than the Adidas_1 DLX (p=0.02) and Nike Tailwind (p=0.003) but not
the Nike T-Lite VIII (p=0.156). There were no significant differences in subjects’
perceptions of foot temperature between shoes (p=0.184). However, it is notable
that the Nike Tailwind (and not the Adidas_1 DLX) had the lowest comfort and
highest temperature ratings.
DISCUSSION:
• During running, foot temperature increased in all shoe models and statistically
there was not difference between shoes (Table 1), suggesting that all four models
allowed for heat dissipation/retention equivocally whether the upper was made
mostly of mesh (Adidas Uraha and Nike Tailwind) or leather (Adidas_1 DLX and
Nike T-Lite VIII) (Figure 2).
• No studies could be located that examined the relationship between shoe
construction and foot temperature. The purpose of this study was to investigate
how foot temperature during running was modulated by different shoes.
Procedures were pre-approved by the Drake University Institutional Review Board
(ID 2009-10088) . Eleven males (21.7  1.7 yrs; stature = 182.0  6.3 cm, 74.8 
9.8 kg) who could exercise in size 11.5 shoe, could run for 30 min, and have no
precluding medical conditions participated. Subjects visited the lab for one
experimental session involving four 10-min treadmill runs (Sole, Inc.) spaced by
sitting 10-min rest periods. Trial order was counterbalanced and subjects had to run
the same self-selected speed for all 4 trials (average 7.6  0.3 mph). Flexible
thermistors (thermometers; YSI, Inc.) were attached to the upper right foot, lateral
side midway across the arch using electrical tape, one against the skin and one at
the same site between the sock and the shoe (Figure 1). Temperatue was recorded
from both sites during the 10-min run and the first 5-min of sitting rest. Subjects all
wore a pair of brand new Adidas Climalite socks (53% polyester, 37% cotton, 8%
olefin, 1% natural latex, 1% Spandex; Adidas, Inc.) throughout the session. Four
different shoes were tested: two with an upper made mostly of mesh (Adidas Uraha
and Nike Tailwind) and two with an upper made mostly of leather (Adidas_1 DLX
and Nike T-Lite VIII). Shoe masses were as follows: Nike T-Lite VIII=318.8 g,
Adidas Uraha=330.8 g, Nike Tailwind=430.9 g, Adidas_1 DLX=457.9 g. By
comparison, subjects’ normal running shoes were 355.2  6.3 g. Heart rate was
recorded throughout but no significant changes were documented and the data is
not shown. Subjects’ self-rated perceptions of comfort and stability were assessed
independently via 10-cm visual analogue scale (1) where subjects placed a mark
along the scale where they perceived foot temperature or comfort, accordingly (see
Table 2 for more explanation). Subjects were allowed water ad libitum. Univariate
ANOVA was used for statistical analyses (SPSS, Inc.)
RESULTS:
Table 1—During running, there were no significant differences in foot temperature
change at either the skin thermometer (p=0.945) or sock thermometer (p=0.514).
During post-exercise rest, there were significant differences in foot temperature
change at both the skin and sock thermometers (both p=0.012; see also Figure 3).
Figure 3—Changes in foot temperature (expressed as C mean  standard
error) during rest at both the skin thermometer (a) and sock thermometer (b)
sites.
Adidas Uraha Adidas_1 DLX
Nike Tailwind Nike T-Lite VIII
Comfort
6.5  0.7
4.0  0.8
3.3  0.7
5.1  0.7
Heat
3.7  0.7
4.5  0.8
5.8  0.7
4.3  0.7
Table 2—Subjects’ perceptions of comfort and heat and assessed via a 10-cm
visual analogue scale. A “0” indicates most uncomfortable/hot imaginable and
a “10” indicates most comfortable/cool imaginable. Values are mean 
standard error
• During post-exercise rest, foot temperature decreased in all shoe models except
the Adidas_1 DLX at both skin and sock thermometer sites (Figure 3). Foot
temperature in the Adidas_1 DLX increased during rest, suggesting that its upper
did not allow for heat transfer like the uppers of the other 3 shoes did. The
difference between heat dynamics when running or resting may be explained by
ventilatory properties or how the shoe interacts with air flow during run or rest.
• Subjects perceived differences in shoe comfort but, curiously, not heat (Table 2).
The 2 most comfortable shoes were the Adidas Uraha with a mesh upper and the
Nike T-Lite VIII with a leather upper. Other aspects of shoe construction such as
the midsole or last may be bigger determinants of shoe comfort than the upper.
• Subjects’ perceptons of how hot the shoes felt were not statistically different
(Table 2) despite actual temperature differences (Table 1), suggesting that the
runners’ perceptions of foot temperature were influenced by more than just actual
temperature, congruent with others’ findings (2).
REFERENCES:
(1) Mills K, Blanch P, Vicenzio B (2010). Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 42(10): 1966-1971.
(2) Purvis AJ and Tunstall H (2004). Ergonomics 47(15): 1657-1668.
(3) Taylor NA, Caldwell JN, Mekjavic IB (2006). Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 77(10): 1020-1027.
Microbial Growth On Dining Hall Surfaces
Erin M. Poss, James Ley
Department of Biology, Drake University
Figure 1: Microbial growth
on (from left to right)
1. Nutrient agar plates
inoculated at Hubble South
2. Nutrient agar plates
inoculated at Spikes
3. Fecal coliform plates
inoculated at Hubble South
4. Fecal coliform plates
inoculated at Spikes.
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