Evaluation of a Kinematically-Driven Finite Element Footstrike Model

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 Loughborough University
  • 2 University of Sheffield
  • 3 adidas AG
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A dynamic finite element model of a shod running footstrike was developed and driven with 6 degree of freedom foot segment kinematics determined from a motion capture running trial. Quadratic tetrahedral elements were used to mesh the footwear components with material models determined from appropriate mechanical tests. Model outputs were compared with experimental high-speed video (HSV) footage, vertical ground reaction force (GRF), and center of pressure (COP) excursion to determine whether such an approach is appropriate for the development of athletic footwear. Although unquantified, good visual agreement to the HSV footage was observed but significant discrepancies were found between the model and experimental GRF and COP readings (9% and 61% of model readings outside of the mean experimental reading ± 2 standard deviations, respectively). Model output was also found to be highly sensitive to input kinematics with a 120% increase in maximum GRF observed when translating the force platform 2 mm vertically. While representing an alternative approach to existing dynamic finite element footstrike models, loading highly representative of an experimental trial was not found to be achievable when employing exclusively kinematic boundary conditions. This significantly limits the usefulness of employing such an approach in the footwear development process.

Iain Hannah and Andy Harland are with the Sports Technology Institute, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. Iain Hannah is also with INSIGNEO Institute for in silico Medicine, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. Dan Price, Heiko Schlarb, and Tim Lucas are with adidas AG, Herzogenaurach, Bavaria, Germany.

Address author correspondence to Iain Hannah at iainhannah0@gmail.com.