The purpose of our study was to determine if altering the insoles within footwear or walking barefoot, as an attempt to increase or decrease cutaneous stimuli, would improve dynamic balance during a hill-walking task. We hypothesize that compared with foam insoles or iced bare feet, textured insoles or bare feet will result in greater speeds, longer step lengths, narrower step width, shorter stance time, and less tibialis anterior (TA), soleus (SOL), and lateral gastrocnemius (LG) activity during key gait cycle phases. Ten, healthy college students, 5 men and 5 women, completed the protocol that consisted of level walking and downhill transition walking in five different footwear insole or barefoot conditions. During level walking, conditions with the hypothesized greater cutaneous stimuli resulted in greater step length, which relates to a more stable gait. In detail, the texture insole condition average step length was 3% longer than the regular insole condition, which was 5% longer than the ice condition (p < .01). The same signals of increased stability were evident during the more challenging downhill transition stride. Step length during the barefoot condition was 8% longer than the ice condition (p < .05) and step width during the regular footwear condition was 5% narrower than the foam condition (p = .05). To add, during the preswing phase of level walking, TA activity of the textured insole condition was 30% less than the foam insole. Although our data show that footwear conditions alter gait patterns and lower leg muscle activity during walking, there is not enough evidence to support the hypothesis that textured insoles will improve dynamic balance as compared with other footwear types.
Keith A. Stern and Jinger S. Gottschall
Ben Langley, Mary Cramp and Stewart C. Morrison
rearfoot eversion compared with neutral shoes. However, as is common within footwear biomechanics, these studies 11 , 12 placed markers on the shoe. Discrepancies between the motion of the foot and the shoe have been reported, 13 – 15 and as such, the findings of studies using shoe-based markers should
Brittany R. Crosby, Justin M. Stanek, Daniel J. Dodd and Rebecca L. Begalle
Key Points ▸ Movement screens are commonly used in athletic populations. ▸ Footwear has previously been shown to affect an individual’s stability. ▸ Footwear has no effect on Functional Movement Screen ® scores. A popular screening method used throughout sports medicine, specific to analysis of
Michael Buchecker, Stefan Wegenkittl, Thomas Stöggl and Erich Müller
shortly afterward Romkes ( 2008 ), observed higher EMG activities, especially of the tibialis anterior (TA), and a clear increase of COP displacements in the anterior–posterior (AP) direction in bipedal stance using footwear equipped with a rounded sole and a soft heel pad (i.e., Masai Barefoot Technology
Wing-Kai Lam, Winson Chiu-Chun Lee, Wei Min Lee, Christina Zong-Hao Ma and Pui Wah Kong
footwear bending stiffness. 1 , 16 In brief, for the running vertical jump (Figure 2a ), participants approached from a 5-m distance and performed a maximum hand reach after taking off with the left foot on the force plate (Kistler, Winterthur, Switzerland). Participants took off with the left leg for a
Mario A. Lafortune
Miniature pressure sensors and high-speed video were used to assess the lateral support and stability of court footwear during in vivo performance of lateral side-stepping moves. Two distinct types of court footwear construction were evaluated and were found to differ by approximately 100% and 200% in lateral support and stability, respectively. The heel control index that combined both parameters revealed differences exceeding 425%. A comparison of shoes that differed only in one construction feature produced similar trends. These overall results suggest that the combined high-speed video/pressure approach allows high discrimination of footwear rearfoot control properties during in vivo simulated playing conditions. The specific experimental results suggest that footwear designed for court sports exhibits considerable differences in foot support and stability. Furthermore, it was found that some construction features could improve these properties in court footwear.
Grace Smith, Mark Lake and Adrian Lees
The metatarsophalangeal joint is an important contributor to lower limb energetics during sprint running. This study compared the kinematics, kinetics and energetics of the metatarsophalangeal joint during sprinting barefoot and wearing standardized sprint spikes. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether standard sprinting footwear alters the natural motion and function of the metatarsophalangeal joint exhibited during barefoot sprint running. Eight trained sprinters performed maximal sprints along a runway, four sprints in each condition. Three-dimensional high-speed (1000 Hz) kinematic and kinetic data were collected at the 20 m point. Joint angle, angular velocity, moment, power and energy were calculated for the metatarsophalangeal joint. Sprint spikes significantly increase sprinting velocity (0.3 m/s average increase), yet limit the range of motion about the metatarsophalangeal joint (17.9% average reduction) and reduce peak dorsiflexion velocity (25.5% average reduction), thus exhibiting a controlling affect over the natural behavior of the foot. However, sprint spikes improve metatarsophalangeal joint kinetics by significantly increasing the peak metatarsophalangeal joint moment (15% average increase) and total energy generated during the important push-off phase (0.5 J to 1.4 J). The results demonstrate substantial changes in metatarsophalangeal function and potential improvements in performance-related parameters due to footwear.
Jonathan Sinclair, Jim Richards, James Selfe, James Fau-Goodwin and Hannah Shore
The current study aimed to comparatively examine the effects of minimalist, maximalist, and conventional footwear on the loads experienced by the patellofemoral joint during running. Twenty male participants ran over a force platform at 4.0 m×s–1. Lower limb kinematics were collected using an 8-camera motion capture system allowing patellofemoral kinetics to be quantified using a musculoskeletal modeling approach. Differences in patellofemoral kinetic parameters were examined using one-way repeatedmeasures ANOVA. The results showed the peak patellofemoral force and pressure were significantly larger in conventional (4.70 ± 0.91 BW, 13.34 ± 2.43 MPa) and maximalist (4.74 ± 0.88 BW, 13.59 ± 2.63 MPa) compared with minimalist footwear (3.87 ± 1.00 BW, 11.59 ± 2.63 MPa). It was also revealed that patellofemoral force per mile was significantly larger in conventional (246.81 ± 53.21 BW) and maximalist (251.94 ± 59.17 BW) as compared with minimalist (227.77 ± 58.60 BW) footwear. As excessive loading of the patellofemoral joint has been associated with the etiology of patellofemoral pain symptoms, the current investigation indicates that minimalist footwear may be able reduce runners’ susceptibility to patellofemoral disorders.
Ewald M. Hennig, Gordon A. Valiant and Qi Liu
Using a 15-point rating scale, subjects rated perception of cushioning during running on a treadmill with three different footwear constructions of varying midsole hardness. During overground running, various biomechanical ground reaction force and pressure variables were collected and compared to the perception of cushioning scores. The perception scores identified the three shoes as very hard, medium soft, and soft. Peak pressures in the heel, the force rate, and the median power frequency of the impact force signal demonstrated increases in values with the perception of less cushioning. In the harder shoes, the subjects altered the loading patterns under their feet, resulting in lower impact forces and increased weight bearing of the forefoot structures.
Ewald M. Hennig and Thomas L. Milani
Discrete pressure sensors were used to examine the influence of shoe construction on the local forces under the foot. Measurements were performed at eight locations under the feet of 22 subjects wearing 19 different models of running shoes. Mechanical properties of shoe soles were assessed with an impacter device. Pressure distribution, ground reaction force, and acceleration data were collected simultaneously during running at 3.3 m/s. Early lateral loading of the rearfoot was followed by increasing medial forefoot loads. In the later phase of pushoff the load was almost entirely carried by the first metatarsal head and the hallux. Substantial differences in plantar foot pressures and relative loads among shoe models indicated that footwear construction has a substantial influence on the loading behavior of the foot during ground contact. Finally, the chosen sensor locations under the foot were found to be adequate to estimate the vertical ground reaction force.