FBS 2003 – Queenstown, New Zealand


The 6th Symposium on Footwear Biomechanics was held in Queenstown, New Zealand, where much of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy was filmed. Hosting the event in conjunction with a podiatry workshop influenced the focus of the conference programme, with the first day concerned more with the structure and function of the lower extremity, while the second day was more related to functional footwear. However, the breadth of topics was such that it should have satisfied the interests of the more than 100 delegates who attended.

Following a robust and traditional welcome from the Queenstown Maori concert party, Ned Frederick gave a challenging presentation on the role of footwear biomechanics and where it is heading. It set the tone for the rest of the symposium and many of the following speakers drew on the ideas and perspectives Ned had introduced. The first day was devoted to more to finding out what was new regarding our understanding of foot shape, lower extremity kinematics and kinetics, and the role of orthotics and inserts. Alex Stacoff’s keynote on the interaction between the shoe and foot was the perfect introduction to the first day. The second day was devoted to footwear design, and was introduced with a keynote presentation by Michael Kinchington on the implications of foot-shoe interaction. Topics on the second day ranged from finite element modelling to geriatric footwear, and from football studs to mountain boots, which all reflected the way the research into footwear biomechanics has developed and changed over the 25 years since the first symposium was held.

 No symposium would be complete without the social interaction, and having the meeting in a compact location like Queenstown provided ample opportunities to meet informally. The long winter’s evenings were a great incentive to gather around a log fire in a bar, linger at a restaurant, or generate your own local thermal environment at a night club. One or two hardy souls even ventured into the lake for a swim. The symposium wound-up with a gold-rush theme dinner at the conference hotel. Entertainment was provided by the Arrowtown Bush band, the Buckingham Belles, and the occasional antics of the less fortunate ones who won ‘prizes’ for notorious events throughout the symposium.

Finally, we would like to thank the sponsors of the symposium (adidas, Asics and Nike) for their generous support, the companies who took the opportunity to exhibit their products, and finally Kim and Trish from Conference Innovators who did such a wonderful job of making the symposium such a success. A conference is only as good as the people who attend, and in this respect, we were fortunate in having such a diverse and friendly group. Thank you.

Scientific Awards

Applied Research Prize presented by adidas International

Juan-Carlos Gonzales, A. Martines, J. Montero, S. Alemany, J. Gamez

“Analysis of the horizontal forces in soccer boot studs for specific movements”

Basic Research Prize presented by NIKE, Inc.

Martyn Shorten, M. Mientjes 

“The effects of shoe cushioning on impact force during running”

Young Investigator Prize presented by Asics

Bridget Munro, J. Steele, W. Gilleard

“Slippers, surfaces and the gait of older arthritic females: the final episode?”