FBS 2013 – Natal, Brazil


The International Society of Biomechanics Footwear Biomechanics Group (FBG) held their 11 biennial Footwear Biomechanics Symposium (FBS) in conjunction with the ISB Congress in Natal, Brazil from the 31 July – 2 August 2013. The symposium was organized by a group chaired by the FBG Chairperson Stefan Grau with help from Toni Arndt from Stockholm and Günther Schlee from Chemnitz. Günther’s native Portuguese helped considerably in organizing accommodation and the social program in Brazil. The FBS was held in the Rifoles Hotel with a fantastic location directly on a wonderful beach, where delegates were seen playing football, walking, swimming, surfing, or just lying in deckchairs enjoying local beverages.

Despite its distant location relative to Australia, Europe, and North America, the FBS attracted a very good attendance of 155 participants. Approximately 100 abstract submissions were received, which led to 60 original oral papers and 33 posters at the conference. There were three full days of scientific program. Two keynote lecturers were invited: Peter Cavanagh presented “Tibial acceleration: What does it tell us about footwear and injury risk?” and Kris D’Aout presented “The biomechanics of human locomotion: evolving barefoot”. There were two invited sessions, one on soccer shoes and one on the ankle joint hosted by the International Foot & Ankle Biomechanics (iFAB) group. A very popular invited tutorial was included for the first time with Ned Frederick discussing the topic of “Quantifying the physical and functional characteristics of footwear”. The single-session lecture theatre was full for nearly every single presentation. The two high-quality poster presentations were preceded by two-minute oral presentations.

The sponsorship strength of the FBG was evident with a total of eight prizes presented. Of course, the FBG would like to take this opportunity to extend special thanks to all of its sponsors – Adidas, Asics, Brooks, Busan Footwear Center, LiNing, Mizuno, Nike, and RSScan. During the FBG Business Meeting at the conclusion of the symposium, new Operating Codes and a new Constitution were presented and accepted by the members. The Constitution was also accepted by the ISB Executive Council at their subsequent meeting. Hopefully, these new steering documents will assist in making the operation of the FBG more transparent, efficient, and even more dynamic in the future.

A traditional highlight of the FBS is its incredible social network, which has made this meeting a highlight in many footwear biomechanists’ congress calendars. The food, drinks, and discussions during the dinners by the pool will be remembered by many and will hopefully lead to fruitful scientific collaboration in the upcoming years. The ISB FBG is becoming more and more active even outside its own biennial symposium and in 2014 will host scientific sessions both at the iFAB meeting in Busan, Korea and at the World Congress of Biomechanics in Boston, USA.

Major Sponsors:


$25,000 Nike Award Awarded to:

Isabel Sarah Moore, Andrew Jones & Sharon Dixon

Paper: The pursuit of improved running performance: Can changes in cushioning and somatosensory feedback influence running economy and injury risk?

Benno Nigg Award for Applied Research ($1000US)

Presented by adidas International

Awarded to: Angela Höhne, Kerstin Stöcker, Ulrich Müller-Lung, Peter Brüggemann

Paper: Enhanced foot muscle strength and plantar pressure in the neuropathic diabetic foot.

Peter Cavanagh Award for Basic Research ($1000US)

Presented by Nike, Inc.

Awarded to: Katina Fischer, Steffen Willwacher, Joseph Hamill, Eric Rohr, Peter Brüggemann

Paper: Response of joint kinematics and muscle activity to running on tilted walkways.

Martyn Shorten Award for Innovation ($1000US)

Presented by Rs Scan International

Awarded to: Hendrik Enders, Vinzenz von Tscharner, Christian Maurer, Benno Nigg

Paper: The effect of midsole material on lower extremity kinematics: two approaches – one solution.

Edward “Ned” Frederick Young Investigator Award ($1000US)

Presented by Li-Ning, Ltd.

Awarded to:Ann-Katrin Hömme, Nina Völkel, Nicole Westphal, Ramona Wisseng, Ewald Hennig

Paper: The influence of instability shoes on the balance performance of elderly women.

Alex Stacoff Award for Methodology ($1000US)

Presented by ASICS, Corp.

Awarded to: Steffen Willwacher, Katina Fischer, Joseph Hamill, Eric Rohr, Peter Brüggemann

Paper: Free moment patterns in distance running.

Young Investigator Poster Award ($1000US)

Presented by Brooks

Awarded to: Jennifer Baltich, Christian Maurer, Benno Nigg

Paper: Increased dynamic joint stiffness and peak vertical impact forces with softer shoe midsoles.

Most Impactful Poster Award ($1000US)

Presented by New Balance, Inc.

Awarded to: Lise Sissler, André Jacques, Guillaume Rao, Eric Berton, Nils Gueguen

Paper: A 3-D finite element model of the foot-shoe structure during a walking cycle for shoe sole design.