Introduction: The New Balance Core Low Cut Sock (New Balance Athletic Shoe, Inc. · Boston, MA United States) is one of many arch support socks out in the market. These socks have an elastic portion, called a Stability Fit Arch Support & Hold technology, which has been incorporated into the arch area of the sock. The company makes the following claim that the socks provide, "Gentle compression to support the arch, relieving arch-related pain and discomfort."1 If these socks do provide adequate arch support, then they would allow individuals the ability to have an inexpensive method of arch support that is easy to apply and use. The purpose of this study is to test the effectiveness of these socks in (a) navicular drop (b) static pressure insole pressure profiles and (c) dynamic (walking and running) pressure insole pressure profiles. Methods: Eighteen symptomatic, college age (age 18-26) subjects were used in this study (seven male, eleven female), with symptomatic being defined as a navicular drop greater than or equal to 10 mm. Measurements were collected for both the navicular drop, and F-Scan insole data, for both static and dynamic stance. For walking and running trials, heel strike and toe off were identified by the Tekscan System and COP excursion coordinates evaluated throughout the stance phase. The COP coordinates were exported then compared over the stance phase. A series of functional analyses was used to assess the between group differences. A paired t-test was used to assess the within group differences. Results: Results indicate that the arch support socks were not significantly different from the control (regular socks) along any part of the foot strike (95% confidence) in any of the conditions (standing, walking or running). Results from the paired t-test revealed no significant differences in navicular drop between sock types (p = .379). Discussion: This study found that the elastic band in the New Balance socks did not provide increased support to the medial arch of the foot compared to the control sock in either the navicular drop paired t-test or the functional analysis of the static and dynamic data. The authors could not find any other comparable study on these kinds of socks. Compared to other reports, using both orthotic inserts and tape, ND was reduced, unlike the results found in the present study. 2 Our data are inconsistent with the idea that increased elastic support to the midfoot by these socks provides significant arch support. The authors would suggest another form of arch support such as orthotics or taping to aid on arch support rather than these socks.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Exercise Sciences



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medial tibial stress syndrome, socks, tibialis posterior, shin splints