Reproducibility of Plantar Pressure Distribution Data in Barefoot Running

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The aim of this study was to provide detailed information on rationales, calculations, and results of common methods used to quantify reproducibility in plantar pressure variables. Recreational runners (N = 95) performed multiple barefoot running trials in a laboratory setup, and pressure variables were analyzed in nine distinct subareas of the foot. Reproducibility was assessed by calculating intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and the root mean square error (RMSE). Intraclass correlation coefficients ranged from 0.58 to 0.99, depending on the respective variable and type of ICC. Root mean square errors ranged between 2.3 and 3.1% for relative force–time integrals, between 0.07 and 0.23 for maximum force (Fmax), and between 107 and 278 kPa for maximum pressure (Pmax), depending on the subarea of the foot. Force–time integral variables demonstrated the best within-subject reproducibility. Rear-foot data suffered from slightly increased measurement error and reduced reproducibility compared with the forefoot.

The authors are with the Medical Clinic, Department of Sports Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; Axmann is with the Department of Prosthodontics and the section “Medical Materials and Technology,” University Hospital Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.