Xi’an, China – A group of Chinese scientists has been investigating the damage that can be caused by counterfeit sporting footwear. The team, led by Piaolin Peng of Shaanxi University of Science and Technology in Xi’an, looked at the acute effects of fake shoes on foot loading and comfort during running.
The midsole materials based on TPU that are now incorporated into more expensive shoes have proved popular with runners, they said. However, knock-off running shoes are commonplace in China, and typically cost less than half the price of genuine branded products.
They wondered whether the advanced materials in genuine shoes were effective in decreasing foot loading and impact force during running. So they ran two tests using 15 healthy male volunteers, including running and a comfort evaluation. Participants were asked to identify which was the genuine branded footwear, and which the fake, based on their perception of comfort.
They found that the time to the first peak of the vertical ground reaction force was significantly later with the genuine shoe, and these were generally considered more comfortable. They concluded that fake footwear significantly increases impact loading compared to the genuine shoe, increasing the likelihood of injury.
P.Peng et al. Gait & Posture 2020, 79, 111