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Ground reaction force data and tibial accelerations from a skin-mounted transducer were collected during rearfoot running at 3.3 m/s across a force platform. Five repetitive trials from 27 subjects in each of 19 different footwear conditions were evaluated. Ground reaction force as well as tibial acceleration parameters were found to be useful for the evaluation of the cushioning properties of different athletic footwear. The good prediction of tibial accelerations by the maximum vertical force rate toward the initial force peak (r2 = .95) suggests that the use of a force platform is sufficient for the estimation of shock-absorbing properties of sport shoes. If an even higher prediction accuracy is required a regression equation with two variables (maximum force rate, median power frequency) may be used (r2 = .97). To evaluate the influence of footwear on the shock traveling through the body, a good prediction of peak tibial accelerations can be achieved from force platform measurements.
Ewald M. Hennig and Thomas L. Milani are with Sportbiomechanik Universität GH Essen, Postfach 103 764, 45141 Essen, Germany. Mario A. Lafortune is with the School of Human Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada N1G 2W1