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Dr. Kota Takahashi, a former postdoctoral associate in Dr. Greg Sawicki’s Human PoWeR lab, has been published in Nature’s Scientific Reports. His research into how shoe stiffness impacts the amount of energy required to walk had a surprising outcome: Kota and his team found that, on average, a stiff shoe required the wearer to use 13 pounds more energy effort than if the shoe was flexible. He expected to find that stiff shoes required less energy from the wearer, since increased shoe stiffness has been shown to improve athletic performance. Now faculty at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Dr. Takahashi is continuing his research into human movement analysis and would like to study different shoe components in order to present a more complete picture of the relationship between shoe structure and gait. The paper, “Adding Stiffness to the Foot Modulates Soleus Force-Velocity Behaviour during Human Walking,” was published in July 2016.

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