Orthotic insoles show effects on knee kinematics during pedaling in recreational cyclists

Amos Cole Meyers, Elise Caldwell, Jordan Hirsch, Hyung-Pil Jun, Moataz Eltoukhy, Ryan Pohlig, Joseph Signorile


Orthotic insoles in cycling shoes are an intervention used to correct pedaling mechanics in riders, which has received little attention in the literature. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that the use of orthotic insoles in cycling shoes would alter pedaling mechanics of uninjured recreational cyclists. Additionally, it was hypothesized that the insole that allowed the lowest level of lateral knee displacement would be related to the rider’s arch height. Nine cyclists were evaluated during four cycle ergometer maximal power output tests, using four different insole configurations (flat [no insole], low, medium, and high arch support) in a random order. Video recordings were used to measure lateral knee displacement. Incremental exercise tests were performed at least 48 hours apart to control for fatigue. The non-flat insole that resulted in the lowest level of lateral knee displacement was identified for each leg. There was no relationship between arch variable and the “best fit†insole. Because the best fit insole was not the same between feet for most cyclists, the statistical model was run twice, with the best insole for the dominant leg and non-dominant leg identified as the overall “best fit†insoles. When the best fit for the dominant leg was identified as the overall “best fit†insole, it produced effects on dominant knee lateral displacement (p=.001). The implication of these findings is that orthotic insoles have minimal effects on pedaling mechanics.



Cycling, Knee, Kinematics, Biomechanics, Pedaling

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.28985/jsc.v4i3.173


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