High-heeled shoes (HHS) have been known to present biomechanical imbalances in lower-leg mechanics at the pedestrian level, but have not been thoroughly studied in the context of highly dynamic movement, such as dance. In order to analyze the effects of 2.5-inch and 3.0-inch soft-soled character shoes (CS) worn by female collegiate musical theatre dancers during rehearsals, selected subjects completed a written questionnaire, the star balance excursion test, and a heel raise test. It was predicted that both heel heights would promote irregularities in subjects’ sense of balance and lower leg stamina, while 3.0 inch CS would cause greater rates of injury overall. The resulting data showed that while there was no difference in the number of reported injuries among subjects wearing either 2.5-inch CS or 3.0-inch CS during rehearsals, there was less range of motion (RoM) and stability observed in 3.0-inch CS. The median number of heel rises from the heel raise test was approximately 10, showing a wide range of strength and stamina among subjects individually. Additionally, only 35% of subjects reported warming up in CS before rehearsals, and 13% reported cooling down after dancing in rehearsal. These results indicate a great need for supplemental strengthening for dancers, as well as the development of a comprehensive warm-up and cool-down aiming to prepare dancers to effectively wear CS for extended periods of time and continue to counter potential injury.
Vaughan, Evelyn, "Rehearsal Injuries in Soft-Soled Character Shoes: Injury Rate of Female Collegiate Dancers Wearing Soft-Soled Character Shoes with 2.5 or 3.0 Inch Heels in Musical Theatre Rehearsals" (2018). Honors College Theses. 184.