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Hum Mov Sci. 2015 Aug;42:183-92. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2015.05.005. Epub 2015 Jun 2.

Eight weeks gait retraining in minimalist footwear has no effect on running economy.

Author information

1
School of Health and Human Performance, Applied Sports Performance Research Group, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland. Electronic address: Joseph.warne2@mail.dcu.ie.
2
School of Health and Human Performance, Applied Sports Performance Research Group, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the effects of an eight week combined minimalist footwear (MFW) and gait-retraining intervention on running economy (RE) and kinematics in conventional footwear runners.

METHODS:

Twenty-three trained male runners (age: 43 ± 10 years, stature: 177.2 ± 9.2 cm, body mass: 72.8 ± 10.2 kg, V̇O2max: 56.5 ± 7.0 mL min(-1) kg(-1)) were recruited. Participants were assigned to either an intervention group (n = 13) who gradually increased exposure to MFW and also implemented gait-retraining over an eight week period. RE and kinematics were measured in both MFW and conventional running shoes (CRS) at pre-tests and eight weeks, in a random order. In contrast the control group (n = 10) had no MFW exposure or gait retraining and were only tested in CRS.

RESULTS:

The MFW and gait re-training intervention had no effect on RE (p < .001). However, RE was significantly better in MFW (mean difference 2.72%; p = .002) at both pre and post-tests compared to CRS. Step frequency increased as a result of the intervention (+5.7 steps per minute [spm]; p < .001), and was also significantly higher in MFW vs. CRS (+7.5 spm; p < .001).

CONCLUSION:

Whilst a better RE in MFW was observed when compared to CRS due to shoe mass, familiarization to MFW with gait-retraining was not found to influence RE.

KEYWORDS:

Barefoot running; Footwear; Performance; Running technique

PMID:
26046622
DOI:
10.1016/j.humov.2015.05.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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