Virtual OSU Science Pub focuses on runners and their shoes

OSU Cascades FORCE Lab Director Christine Pollard discusses a study analyzing different running shoe technologies and connections to running injuries.
Photo by Rob Kerr / OSU Cascades FORCE Lab running shoe research with Christine Pollard

CORVALLIS, OR — In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon State University’s campuses in Corvallis and Bend have collaborated to host a virtual science pub talk on May 11 about how runners perform in different running footwear.

Christine Pollard, associate professor of kinesiology and director of the FORCE (Functional Orthopedic Research Center of Excellence) Lab at OSU-Cascades in Bend, will discuss her research on heavily cushioned soles, so-called “maximal shoes,” that tend to change the way runners’ feet strike the ground. Maximal shoes have been growing in popularity since their 2010 introduction, but little research has been conducted to understand their effect on running biomechanics.

The free science pub will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and can be viewed by anyone. The talk will be broadcast on Zoom and Facebook Live. Registration for the event is required and can be completed at Once registered, details about how to access the talk will be sent via e-mail.

During her talk, Pollard, who was recently featured in The New York Times, will discuss the affect various types of running shoes have on our legs, knees and ankles. By the end of her talk, viewers should better understand how to select an ideal running shoe.

Before establishing the FORCE Lab at OSU Cascades, Pollard was an assistant professor at the University of Southern California. She received her Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Massachusetts in exercise science with an emphasis on biomechanics.

She is founding director of the new Doctor of Physical Therapy program at OSU-Cascades, which will debut in the fall of 2021.

Sponsors of the OSU Science Pub include the Office of Research and Terra magazine at OSU, OSU-Cascades in Bend and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. Connect Central Oregon, a collaborative program with the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab, will produce the event with their student consultancy interns.