The Human Performance Laboratory at The University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada performed an experiment entitled "Relationship between footwear comfort of shoe inserts and anthropometric and sensory factors." The study took 206 military personnel volunteers and had them wear shoe inserts. They used a control of no inserts. The inserts varied in hardness, shape, arch and heel cup shape. The volunteers assessed the comfort of the inserts and chose the ones most comfortable to them. They wore the comfortable inserts during their military training for the next four months.
It was found that the volunteers wearing inserts comfortable to them had less stress fractures and pain; in fact, fractures and pain were reduced by 1.5-13.4% for the insert group compared to the control group (those without inserts).
In conclusion, comfortable shoe insoles can decrease the frequency of injuries. So, what matters most is comfort and listening to our bodies. Our bodies know what is right for us, so if we pay attention to our bodies natural movement and wear inserts or shoes that are most comfortable to us, we should have fewer injuries.
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