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J Athl Train. 2015 Jun;50(6):603-11. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050.49.6.06.

Lower Extremity Biomechanics and Self-Reported Foot-Strike Patterns Among Runners in Traditional and Minimalist Shoes.

Author information

1
US Military-Baylor University Sports Medicine Doctoral Program, Keller Army Community Hospital, West Point, NY;
2
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill;
3
System for Health and Performance Triad, Defense Health Headquarters, Falls Church, VA.

Abstract

CONTEXT:

The injury incidence rate among runners is approximately 50%. Some individuals have advocated using an anterior-foot-strike pattern to reduce ground reaction forces and injury rates that they attribute to a rear-foot-strike pattern. The proportion of minimalist shoe wearers who adopt an anterior-foot-strike pattern remains unclear.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the accuracy of self-reported foot-strike patterns, compare negative ankle- and knee-joint angular work among runners using different foot-strike patterns and wearing traditional or minimalist shoes, and describe average vertical-loading rates.

DESIGN:

Descriptive laboratory study.

SETTING:

Research laboratory.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 60 healthy volunteers (37 men, 23 women; age = 34.9 ± 8.9 years, height = 1.74 ± 0.08 m, mass = 70.9 ± 13.4 kg) with more than 6 months of experience wearing traditional or minimalist shoes were instructed to classify their foot-strike patterns.

INTERVENTION(S):

Participants ran in their preferred shoes on an instrumented treadmill with 3-dimensional motion capture.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):

Self-reported foot-strike patterns were compared with 2-dimensional video assessments. Runners were classified into 3 groups based on video assessment: traditional-shoe rear-foot strikers (TSR; n = 22), minimalist-shoe anterior-foot strikers (MSA; n = 21), and minimalist-shoe rear-foot strikers (MSR; n = 17). Ankle and knee negative angular work and average vertical-loading rates during stance phase were compared among groups.

RESULTS:

Only 41 (68.3%) runners reported foot-strike patterns that agreed with the video assessment (κ = 0.42, P < .001). The TSR runners demonstrated greater ankle-dorsiflexion and knee-extension negative work than MSA and MSR runners (P < .05). The MSA (P < .001) and MSR (P = .01) runners demonstrated greater ankle plantar-flexion negative work than TSR runners. The MSR runners demonstrated a greater average vertical-loading rate than MSA and TSR runners (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

Runners often cannot report their foot-strike patterns accurately and may not automatically adopt an anterior-foot-strike pattern after transitioning to minimalist running shoes.

KEYWORDS:

barefoot running; ground reaction forces; loading rate; negative work

PMID:
26098391
PMCID:
PMC4527444
DOI:
10.4085/1062-6050.49.6.06
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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