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01-12-2013 | Research | Uitgave 1/2013 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2013

The effects of prolonged running on foot posture: a repeated measures study of half marathon runners using the foot posture index and navicular height

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2013
Emma Cowley, Jonathan Marsden
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1757-1146-6-20) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contribution

EC was responsible for study design, data collection and analysis and dissemination. JM was responsible for study design, ethics application, analysis and dissemination. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Different foot postures are associated with alterations in foot function, kinetics and the subsequent occurrence of injury. Little is known about changes in foot posture following prolonged weightbearing exercise. This study aimed to identify changes in foot posture after running a half marathon.


Foot posture was measured using the Foot Posture Index (FPI-6) and navicular height in thirty volunteer participants before and after running a half marathon. FPI-6 scores were converted to Rasch logit values and means compared for these and navicular height using an ANOVA.


There was a 5 mm drop in navicular height in both feet when measured after the half marathon (P < 0.05). The FPI-6 showed a side x time interaction with an increase in score indicating a more ‘pronated’ position in the left foot of + 2 [Rasch value + 1.7] but no change in the right foot (+ 0.4 [+ 0.76]) following the half marathon.


The apparent differences between the FPI-6 and navicular height on the right foot may be because the FPI-6 takes soft tissue contour changes into consideration whilst the navicular height focuses on skeletal changes. The changes in foot posture towards a more pronated position may have implications for foot function, and therefore risk of injury; shoe fit and comfort and also the effect of therapeutic orthoses worn during prolonged running.

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