The Effects Of Shoes On Our Physical Performance While Running


My expectation and inspiration for this analysis is based upon my prior knowledge that I have gained during our healthy body systems unit, looking deeply into the bodies muscular system and how it can affect a person’s physical performance.

My hypothesis for this experimentation is that the different varieties of shoes and their soles will affect the physical performance of a person while running.


This experimentation consists of different characteristics of the human bodies (lower) muscular system, specifically the feet and their functions while wearing different varieties of shoes.

Whilst a person is running their feet go through two stages the first being Stance (Fig 1) and the second being Aerial (Fig 2), Aerial is the stage in which both feet are off the ground, and stance is when one foot is touching the ground. The Aerial phase consists of gravity pulling us down to the stance phase generating kinetic energy.

Nevertheless, the moment our foot touches the ground (in the stance phase) the energy instantly decelerates, losing the kinetic energy in the process.

The kinetic energy that is lost goes into the sounds and vibrations we create while striking the ground however, a large portion of it goes towards the tendons.

The Tendons and Muscles in our body are extremely springy, they perform almost like pogo stick’s, exchanging kinetic energy from the Aerial faze into elastic potential energy in which our bodies can use later.

Once the foot has reached the stance phase it will then proceed to excel forward by stepping off the springy tendencies, separating 50% of the elastic potential energy back into kinetic energy resulting in it becoming easier for our bodies to propel forward (Insider, Tech.

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) (Fig 3).

If our bodies were deprived of this extra kinetic energy our bodies would have to exert more effort in order to take just one step, potentially putting more pressure on the knees.

Natalie Mackenzie states that ” the shoes you wear can make you feel slim, sexy and stylish—— or they can leave you wincing in pain (”, and in some cases this is true. While walking barefoot a person’s foot lands flat on the ground, and rolls through the step, pushing off the toes, puts less stress on the knees.

However, over the past few years’ shoes have become more for show than for comfort, using high heels as an example. High heels, if worn constantly may result in long-term damages to your body. A Danish study in 2010 found that wearing high heels can increase the chances of you obtaining diseases such as osteoarthritis by 6%, and wearing high heels can also decrease the number of calories a person burns daily, adding up to 2 kg’s more weight in a year (Foot Sensation Canada).

Another example is pointed shoes; because of the narrow sides, they compress the foot causing the protective layer around the nerves to break down. Fluid then begins to build up in the foot and symptoms such as inflammation and discomfort will slowly present themselves, if continued deformity may occur. The pointed toe shoe can also force toes to be compressed on top of each other, resulting in permanent deformities such as crossover toe.

Thongs are also another example of shoes used more for show than comfort. Thongs consist of one single thin strap that prevents the shoe from falling off, however in order for the shoe to stay on a person must bunch up their toes. This constant action makes it impossible for a person to flex there foot’s arch normally, prohibiting their foot from pushing off when taking a step, resulting in hips and knees absorbing most of the impact.

Thongs also shorten a person’s strides resulting in lower-body muscle tiredness over long periods of time. Lastly, Small shoes are a very large problem when running, there must be at least an inch of space between the tip of a person’s big toe and the tip of the shoe to accommodate the shifting of the foot within the shoe while walking/running.

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the difference in shoes and there soles on a person’s physical performance while running. The Prior research I have conducted led me to believe that this topic is quite interesting, allowing me to look at a variety of different shoes and how they affect the physical performance of a person while running.

This topic also helped me to create expectations for the results of my experimentation, which was based on the prior knowledge I have learned during our healthy body systems unit in science class, and the prior research, I have conducted online.


  • 800 meter track
  • A test subject
  • Different types of shoes
  • Stop watch

Variables How will you measure this variable? How will you change or control this variable?

IV: The independent variable for this experimentation is the different types of shoes I will be using. I will be measuring this variable through the time taken to complete one full lap around an 800m track. I will be using different varieties of shoes in this experiment to find out which shoe provided the individual with the highest physical performance. This variable will be controlled through time also, using the estimated time taken to complete one lap then see if the individual has enhanced or degraded there physical performance.

DV: The dependent variable for this experimentation is the physical performance rate, which has either decrease or increased dew to the different varieties of shoes. I will also be measuring and controlling this variable through the time taken to complete one full lap around an 800m track. Based on prior research this dependent variable should change when different shoes are being worn such as, if a person was to run in thongs, it would not be very good for there physical performance.

Other variables that could affect results: time, the individuals past physical history, the speed in which they run (average), and the track in which they will be running. I will be only measuring the speed in which it takes the individual to run around the 800m track, I will be measuring this through time. Unfortunately, I will not be able to control the speed of the individual during this experiment but I am able to determine the average time it takes them and use that to determine if their physical performance has increased or decreased.


Before the experiment begins, the subject’s average heart rate must be measured. The heart rate must be measured 3 times in order to create an educed guess as to what the average heart rate of the subject would be.

The Subject must run around a 400m track once in order to estimate the average speed of the subject without shoes, this will later help to determine whether or not the subject has increase in speed, or decreased in speed. Once finished, the subject must regain homeostasis (there resting heart rate).

When instructed, the subject must place on the first pair of shoes.

The subject must then begin to run around the 400m track 3 times, after each lap the time taken and the heart rate of the subject must be recorded (Use a fit bit to record the heart rate, and a stop watch or timer to record the time taken to complete one lap).

After the subject has competed the 3 laps, the subject must regain homeostasis (There resting heart rate).

Once the subject has regained homeostasis they must repeat the last 3 instructions until all shoes have been worn and in order to acquire the results needed.

Results and Observations

These tables will be used to express the time taken to run around the 800meter track and, to determine the average lap time/ physical performance of an individual.

Table 1:This table will determine the average time taken to complete a 400m, 800m and 1200m.

Shoes Average time to run around the track

Without shoes Time taken to run 400m Time taken to run 800m Time taken to run 1200m

Runners 3 minutes and 1 second (3:01) 2 minutes and 46 seconds (2:36) 3 minutes and 56 seconds (3:56) 6 minutes and 2 seconds (6:02)

Thongs (Flip-Flops) 3 minutes and 1 second (3:01) 3 minutes and 37 seconds (3: 37) 5 minutes and 1 second (5:01) 7 minutes and 57 seconds (7:57)

Heals 3 minutes and 1 second (3:01) 4 minutes and 1 second (4:01) 6 minutes and 25 seconds (6: 25) 8 minute and 25 seconds (8:25)

Table 2: This table will determine the average physical performance of the individual while running, measuring the subject’s heart rate and pain levels (Beats per minute >BPM<, Paint level >PL<)

Shoes Resting heart rate First lap Seconds lap Third lap Average (BPM & PL)

Runners 70 BPM & 0/10 PL 85 BPM & 2/10 PL 86 BPM & 2/10 PL 85 BPM & 2/10 PL 81.5 BPM & 2PL

Thongs (Flip-Flops) 70 BPM & 0/10 PL 78 BPM & 4/10 PL 95 BPM & 5/10 PL 87 BPM & 5.5/10 PL 82.5 BMP & 3.6 PL

Heals 70 BPM & 0/10 PL 79 BPM & 5/10 PL 97 BPM & 7/10 PL 87 BPM &6.5 /10 PL 83.25 BPM & 4.6 PL


This graph represents the time taken for the subject to run 400m, 800m and 1200m in different types of shoes (The numbers on the side represent the number of minutes).

This graph is used to express the physical performance of the individual, specifically there heart rate while running (The numbers on the side represent the Beats Per Minute >BPM<).

This graph is used to represent the pain level of the subject’s feet while running; the numbers are each scored out of ten (ex: 2/10, the pain is 2 out of 10).


The results I have gathered show that the shoes with the intention of being worn more for show are relatively more painful, and can hinder a person from reaching there highest physical potential, resulting in slower times and physical injuries.

As stated before shoes such as thongs and high heels can have long-term consequences when worn constantly, while runners are specifically designed to enable the foot to rolls through its natural movement, where the foot lands flat on the ground, and rolls through the step, pushing off the toes.

Since thongs and high heals restrict the movement of the foot by causing the toes to contract and enabling proper sole movement it can hinder a person’s physical performance, and creating long-term physical problem.

While conducting this experimentation it was difficult for the subject to run is high heals because of the limited movement and the constant rubbing of the leather the top of the foot. Thongs (Flip-flops) were also a problem, resulting in cuts between the subjects big and second toe’s as a consequence of the rubber strap constantly rubbing against it.

The procedure used was very simple and consisted of basic vocabulary that any middle school student could understand. Although the procedure was quite basic there is room for improvement such as, while the person is running they cannot just stop half way in order for the instructor to check the time and, heart rate without the subjects heart rate decreasing slightly.

Another flaw in this procedure is that this experimentation cannot be used with more than one person at a time, resulting in the instructor having to do the same steps numerous times with multiple subjects with different physical states in order to determine the alterations between different subjects physical performance and, how it can change due to their foot ware.

Since this procedure takes large periods of time to complete only one subjects physical performance has been measured, meaning that although there are some distinct differences between the subjects physical performance while wearing different shoes, it is impossible to determine weightier or not it is only restricted towards this subject alone or it is connected to a variety of other subjects.

Throughout this interdisciplinary unit, I was able to contrast the different elements of our unit healthy body systems in science class with our PHE unit··… During our science unit, we looked into the different aspects of the human body such as the muscular system, respiratory system, and the circulatory system.

While during our PHE unit we looked into how to enhance our bodily systems, using different exercises and workout plans to reach out physical health goals, we also touched on the concept that all of our bodily systems are connected and when you work out one aspect of your body another section could also be affected by it.

This is similar as to what we discussed in our science classes, how each part of the body is connected such as the respiratory system and the circulatory system. In order for the respiratory to properly operate the circulatory system must pump oxygen and carbon dioxide towards the lungs, working together in order to ensure that the body is provided with enough oxygen to pump the heart and other arteries.

Although interdisciplinary units allow the students to delve deeper into how different classes and units connect, it also can hinder their knowledge consumption. Considering that both classes want to teach the same unit but have different approaches to do so, it can become quite confusing for the student to keep up with what they have learned and what they are still yet to learn.

An example of this is if we were to have a science class then got to our PHE class, they would begin by asking us what we have already learned in the science classes then build off of that, however during most PHE classes we would mostly be working on our reports instead of reviewing the information we have learned.

This problem also occurs during science class when we are presented with the information but it is given to us quickly making it harder for us to have a good conceptual understanding of the topic before we are instructed to work on our reports once again.

Nevertheless, because of the large amount of teacher available to help and guide us during this unit we were able to create our own research topics and experimentations, making this interdisciplinary unit very enjoyable.


My hypothesis for this experimentation was that the different varieties of shoes and their soles will affect the physical performance of a person while running, and considering the results I have gathered, I would say that my hypothesis is accurate.


  • “Foot Pain? Your Shoes May Be the Culprit.”, 15 June 2017, . 19 Dec. 2018.
  • Insider, Tech. YouTube, YouTube, 24 Jan. 2018, . 19 Dec. 2018.
  • Insider, Tech. YouTube, YouTube, 27 Nov. 2017, . 19 Dec. 2018.
  • Insider, Tech. YouTube, YouTube, 6 Apr. 2018, . 19 Dec. 2018.
  • Sensation, Foot. “How Do Shoes Affect Your Health?” Foot Sensation Canada, N.d. 19 Dec. 2018.
  • (Fig 1), (Fig 2), & (Fig 3): Kunze, Phillipp. “Running Gait Phases Diagram With Array Images.” Dec 20. 2018.

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The Effects Of Shoes On Our Physical Performance While Running. (2019, Dec 09). Retrieved from

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