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Lower Extremity Joint Kinematics of Shod, Barefoot, and Simulated Barefoot Treadmill Running

Lower Extremity Joint Kinematics of Shod, Barefoot, and Simulated Barefoot Treadmill Running

International Journal of Exercise Science 11(1): 717-729

Barefoot running is considered to decrease injury risk, but is not always practical, particularly while running on a fitness center treadmill. The purpose of this study was to compare the kinematics of shod, barefoot, and simulated barefoot running. Twelve subjects (age = 21.1 ± 1.2 years) who regularly run on a treadmill for fitness participated in the study. After a warm up, each runner ran on a Biodex RTM 400 treadmill set at 7.4 mph (approximately 3.3 m/s) in their own shoes, barefoot, and while running "like they were barefoot" in their own shoes. Sixteen reflective markers were affixed to each subject to use PlugInGait (Vicon) to determine three-dimensional body landmark coordinates and to compute lower extremity joint angles. Values at touchdown and during stance were averaged over ten strides for analysis. Repeated measures ANOVA was implemented to determine differences based on running condition (p < 0.05) and post hoc testing was performed with an adjustment for multiple comparisons (p<0.05/3). At touchdown, ankle angle values significantly differed based on condition (6.2 ± 5.9° vs. -4.0 ± 12.0° vs, -0.2 ± 13.3°; p = 0.004 for shod, barefoot and simulated barefoot running, respectively) indicating that when simulating barefoot running the subjects altered their foot strike pattern. Stride frequency differed between shod and barefoot running (1.415±0.068 Hz vs. 1.457±0.065 Hz; p = 0.001) but the simulated barefoot condition did not differ from the shod condition. The runners were able to simulate an important element of barefoot running, but they did not completely mimic their barefoot running pattern.

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Accession: 065290412

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PMID: 29997724

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