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Gait Posture. 2012 Apr;35(4):567-72. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.11.025. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Kinematic and kinetic characteristics of Masai Barefoot Technology footwear.

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Division of Physical Therapy, Rehabilitation Units, Shiga University of Medical Science Hospital, Tsukinowa-cho, Seta, Otsu-city, Shiga 520-2192, Japan.


The Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) shoe was developed as a walking device to improve gait stability and reduce the joint load. Kinematic changes with MBT shoes have been reported; however, kinetic characteristics with MBT shoes have not been adequately assessed. The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of using MBT footwear on the kinetic and kinematic changes in the lower extremity in healthy males. Fourteen healthy male subjects (mean age: 25.6 ± 5.1 years) underwent three-dimensional gait analysis. Ground reaction forces (GRF) during the shock absorption phase were significantly decreased with MBT shoes compared with stable shoes. Gait with the MBT shoes showed significantly decreased knee extension angle in the early stance phase, a decreased hip extension angle, and an increased ankle dorsiflexion angle in the late stance phase. The peak value of the ankle planter moment, ankle negative power, and vertical component of the GRF significantly decreased with MBT shoes in the late stance phase compared with stable shoes. Therefore, MBT shoes could assist with shock absorption in the early stance phase and maintain the progression force while reducing joint moment and power. The results of this study suggest that MBT shoes might be effective to improve shock absorption, increase knee extensor muscle activity, and assist ankle push-off.

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