The primary aim of the Footwear Biomechanics Group is to provide a forum for those interested in biomechanical aspects of clinical, athletic and other kinds of functional footwear. The group was informally established as a Working Group on Functional Footwear in July 1993 during the XIV Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics in Paris. In August 1997, the ISB Council granted the group formal status as the ISB Technical Group on Footwear Biomechanics. The group adopted the current logo and the name in 2005.

The Technical Group currently includes over 300 members from 22 different countries. The group aims to encourage research and promote discussion of biomechanical issues related to functional footwear, including sports shoes, clinical and prescription footwear and footwear designed for special purposes.
The group plans to organize meetings in association with major international scientific conferences. The first of three symposia organized by the group was held in Calgary, in 1994, in conjunction with the Canadian Society of Biomechanics. The symposium consisted of a series of invited speakers and discussion sessions spread over a day and a half of academic sessions.

In 1995, a second independent symposium was held in Cologne as a satellite meeting of the XV ISB Congress. Hosted by Prof. Peter Bruggeman and Dr. Axel Knicker of the Deutsche Sporthochschule, this Symposium attracted 70 delegates to two days of invited presentations, free communications and discussion sessions.

The group’s third symposium, a satellite meeting of the XVI Congress in Tokyo concluded in August 1997. This meeting consisted of two days of academic sessions, including 32 free communications and discussion sessions. The fourth symposium was held in Canmore, Canada in 1999 as a satellite meeting of the XVII ISB Congress. The fifth symposium was held in Zuerich, Switzerland in 2001. The sixth symposium was held in Queenstown, New Zealand between 3rd and 5th July, 2003. In 2005, FBG held its seventh symposium in Cleveland, the U.S.. The symposium attracted 129 registrants and had a scientific program of high quality. The most recent Eighth Footwear Biomechanics Symposium was held as a satellite meeting of the XXI Congress of the International Society of Biomechanics. The meeting took place at the National Yang Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan, June 27-29, 2007. Over 100 registered delegates listened to 64 presentations of original work and exchanged ideas during discussions.

Aims and Objectives
To provide a forum within the ISB for those interested in the biomechanics of clinical, athletic and other types of functional footwear. To promote the exchange of ideas and information among members of the Technical Group and especially between clinical and athletic fields. To promote discussion of scientific and professional issues of interest to members. To encourage high quality research in footwear mechanics and the application of research to footwear design. To promote the exchange of ideas and information between biomechanists and those from other fields of study with interests in footwear. To encourage and facilitate the duplication of experiments. To provide opportunities for the presentation and discussion of original research in a forum of peers with similar research interests. To encourage the use of a common terminology. To encourage the exchange of information on test methods and experimental procedures and, where appropriate, to encourage agreement on the use of common methods and procedures.

Areas of Interest

  • The influence of footwear on the kinematics and kinetics of human movement. 
  • The influence of footwear and footwear design on human performance. 
  • Application of biomechanics research to the design of clinical and athletic footwear. 
  • The role of footwear in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the lower extremity. 
  • The role of footwear in the prevention and treatment of athletic injury.
  • Influence of footwear on the etiology, occurrence and frequency of athletic injuries. 
  • The relationship between shoe biomechanical properties and human subjects’ perceptions. 
  • Methods for laboratory and field measurement of a shoe’s biomechanical properties.