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.
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 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 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
Peter Cavanagh Award for Basic Research ($1000US)
Presented by Nike
Awarded to: Colin Firminger
Clinical Footwear Award ($1000US)
Presented by Mizuno
Awarded to: Kathryn Mills
Martyn Shorten Award for Innovation ($1000US)
Presented by RS Scan
Awarded to: Ayu Miura
Alex Stacoff Award for Methodology ($1000US)
Presented by ASICS
Awarded to: Nicolas Delattre
Best Poster Presentation ($1000US)
Presented by Salomon
Awarded to: Steffen Willwacher
Young Investigator Award ($1000US)
Presented by New Balance
Awarded to: Jennifer Anderson
Sport Performance Research Award ($1000US)
Presented by Under Armour
Awarded to: Michael Asmussen
E.C. “Ned" Frederick Young investigator ($1000US)
Presented by Li-Ning
Awarded to: Maurice Mohr
Benno Nigg Award for Applied Research ($1000US)
Presented by adidas
Awarded to: Torsten Brauner
Best Poster Award ($1000US)
Presented by Brooks
Awarded to: Charlotte Apps
All the abstracts from the 13th FBG Symposium are available in the 2017 Special Issue of Footwear Science.