FBS 2017

The Event.

From July 20th – 22nd 2017, the 13th biennial Footwear Biomechanics Symposium was held in the beautiful surroundings of the Gold Coast, Australia.  Much gratitude goes to conference organizer, Peter Milburn of Griffith University, for hosting an incredible event.  Supporting Peter was Chairpersons of the Footwear Biomechanics Group Wolfgang Potthast, Toni Arndt and Helen Woo and by Ned Frederick, the editor of the Footwear Science Journal.  Along with the warm winter weather, the adjacent world-class surf and beaches presented a perfect backdrop for reconnecting with familiar colleagues and establishing new acquaintances.


The Numbers.

An impressive 173 delegates from 20 different countries attended.  There were 54 podium and 27 posters presentations that featured high quality research papers and new innovative approaches to some old questions.  Sixteen sponsors and exhibitors provided valued financial support for the conference a remarkable nine footwear brands sponsored a record number of Research Awards. A new initiative at this year’s conference was the Industry Round-Table.  Ned Frederick and Martyn Shorten moderated a Q&A session with an 11-person panel of representatives from various athletic footwear brands in discussing relevant topical issues such as new trends, industry expectations of academia, how to strengthen the collaborations, how to get into the industry, etc.  It was a productive session and one that will hopefully be incorporated into future symposia. FBG Student Representative, Katina Fischer, organized an impromptu Student-Industry Night at a local bar for students to network with industry members as well as other students.  Yet another great mutually beneficial opportunity that will hopefully be incorporated in future conferences.


The Keynotes.

The three invited keynote speakers did not disappoint with outstanding and provocative presentations.  Joe Hamill of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (Evaluating Running Footwear) suggested new paradigms are needed in understanding the role of footwear and shared his vision on a runner’s “preferred movement path”.  Cameron Kippen of Carramar, Australia, (Zeitgeist: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly???) provided a very unique historical account of footwear from an anthroposocialogical perspective.  Martyn Shorten of Biomechanica, LLC, Portland, (Science, Pseudoscience and Footwear Science) shared his enlightening thoughts on the interdependent community between the footwear scientists and the brand sponsors and the industry pressures challenges the “scientific method”. 

The Close.

The closing banquet was held at the conference hotel highlighted with food of a traditional Aussie BBQ, presentation of the scientific awards and a dance party.  It brought a close to 3 days of high quality scientific presentations, deep discussions, friendly exchanges and, pleasantly, a greater industry presence.  The FBG is looking forward to continuing on the tradition at the next Footwear Biomechanics Symposium (July 28-30, 2019) within the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains in Kananaskis, Canada, hosted by the University of Calgary prior to the 27th International Society of Biomechanics Congress in Calgary. 

FBS 2017 Sponsors:



$20,000 Nike Award

Awarded to: Bodil Oudshoorn

Paper: Development of a test method to assess the laceration injury risk of studded footwear


Peter Cavanagh Award for Basic Research ($1000US)

Presented by Nike 

Awarded to: Colin Firminger

Paper: Effects of minimalist footwear and stride length reduction on the probability of metatarsal stress fracture: a Weibull analysis with bone repair


Clinical Footwear Award ($1000US)

Presented by Mizuno

Awarded to: Kathryn Mills

Paper: Is immediate comfort while running in cushioned versus minimal footwear related to plantar foot sensitivity?


Martyn Shorten Award for Innovation ($1000US)

Presented by RS Scan 

Awarded to: Ayu Miura

Paper: Establishment of the estimated technique for joint loads in foot during running.


Alex Stacoff Award for Methodology ($1000US)

Presented by ASICS

Awarded to: Nicolas Delattre

Paper: Women perception of shoe cushioning as a function of mechanical properties of footwear.


Best Poster Presentation ($1000US)

Presented by Salomon 

Awarded to: Steffen Willwacher 

Paper: The impact of current footwear technology on free moment application in running.


Young Investigator Award ($1000US)

Presented by New Balance 

Awarded to: Jennifer Anderson 

Paper: The effect of prolonged standing on the body and the impact of footwear hardness.


Sport Performance Research Award ($1000US)

Presented by Under Armour 

Awarded to: Michael Asmussen 

Paper: Does a less torsionally stiff cycling shoe reduce knee moments during cycling?


E.C. “Ned" Frederick  Young investigator ($1000US)

Presented by Li-Ning

Awarded to: Maurice Mohr

Paper: The relationship between footwear comfort and variability of running kinematics


Benno Nigg Award for Applied Research ($1000US)

Presented by adidas 

Awarded to: Torsten Brauner 

Paper: Does heel offset alter tensile load in the Achilles tendon during treadmill walking?


Best Poster Award ($1000US)

Presented by Brooks

Awarded to: Charlotte Apps 

Paper: A shoe with random midsole deformations increases ankle joint variability and muscle activations during the forward lunge.


All the abstracts from the 13th FBG Symposium are available in the 2017 Special Issue of Footwear Science.