The recent popularity of unstable shoes has sparked much interest in the efficacy of the shoe design. Anecdotal evidence suggests that earlier designs appear bulky and less aesthetically appealing for everyday use. The purpose of this study was to examine effects of a second generation unstable shoe on center of pressure (COP), ground reaction force (GRF), kinematics, and kinetics of the ankle joint during level walking at normal and fast speeds. In addition, findings were compared with results from the first generation shoe. Fourteen healthy males performed five successful level walking trials in four testing conditions: walking in unstable and control shoes at normal (1.3 m/s) and fast (1.8 m/s) speeds. The unstable shoe resulted in an increase in mediolateral COP displacement, first peak vertical GRF loading rate, braking GRF, ankle eversion range of motion (ROM), and inversion moment; as well as a decrease in anteroposterior COP displacement, second peak vertical GRF, ankle plantarflexion ROM, and dorsiflexion moment. Only minor differences were found between the shoe generations. Results of the generational comparisons suggest that the lower-profile second generation shoe may be as effective at achieving the desired unstable effects while promoting a smoother transition from heel contact through toe off compared with the first generation shoe.
Jacob K. Gardner, Songning Zhang, Max R. Paquette, Clare E. Milner and Elizabeth Brock
Steven T. McCaw, Jacob K. Gardner, Lindsay N. Stafford and Michael R. Torry
An inverse dynamic analysis and subsequent calculation of joint kinetic and energetic measures is widely used to study the mechanics of the lower extremity. Filtering the kinematic and kinetic data input to the inverse dynamics equations affects the calculated joint moment of force (JMF). Our purpose was to compare selected integral values of sagittal plane ankle, knee, and hip joint kinetics and energetics when filtered and unfiltered GRF data are input to inverse dynamics calculations. Six healthy, active, injury-free university student (5 female, 1 male) volunteers performed 10 two-legged landings. JMFs were calculated after two methods of data filtering. Unfiltered: marker data were filtered at 10 Hz, GRF data unfiltered. Filtered: both GRF and marker data filtered at 10 Hz. The filtering of the GRF data affected the shape of the knee and hip joint moment-time curves, and the ankle, knee and hip joint mechanical power-time curves. We concluded that although the contributions of individual joints to the support moment and to total energy absorption were not affected, the attenuation of high-frequency oscillations in both JMF and JMP time curves will influence interpretation of CNS strategies during landing.