P 0005 vs barefoot and minimalist footwear Figure 4 Mean stride cadence in min

P 0005 vs barefoot and minimalist footwear figure 4

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* P = 0.005 vs barefoot and minimalist footwear. Figure 4. Mean stride cadence (in min −1 ) according to type of footwear. Error bars represent ±1 SD. Figure 5. Knee flexion angle at ground contact (in degrees) according to type of footwear. Error bars represent ±1 SD.
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May Jun 2015 Gillinov et al 260 controversial. 15,17 Running-related injuries have a wide variety of causes, and some question whether changing the biomechanics of running might simply change the pattern of injury. For instance, knee and ankle loading has been studied in different footwear, showing that barefoot and minimalist footwear reduced stress at the knee but increased Achilles tendon forces when compared with traditional shoes. 17 A switch to minimalist footwear has been correlated with the development of foot injuries, most notably metatarsal stress fractures. 16 Several prospective studies suggest improved biomechanics, and possibly also efficiency, with minimalist footwear, but no long-term studies document an impact on running-related injuries. 9,11,13 This study had several novel features. First, while previous studies have examined different types of footwear, none directly compared the biomechanical impacts of the 3 types of running footwear analyzed in this study. Second, all subjects used the same types of traditional and minimalist shoes, eliminating variability related to shoe models. Finally, this study’s experimental protocol enabled each subject to run in each type of footwear, and thus, serve as his own control. Observations in this context enabled us to isolate the impact of footwear on running biomechanics in this select group only. Limitations Although 4 indices of running biomechanics were measured, direct measures of running efficiency like VO 2 max or cost of transport were not measured. Our sample size was small (15 runners). Because we examined only experienced high school cross-country runners, our findings may not be generalizable to other types of runners (eg, recreational runners or marathon runners) or to other brands or types of running footwear. Furthermore, only male adolescents who are competitive middle-distance runners were tested; their results are probably not representative of the entire population. For the “barefoot condition,” runners wore light socks to protect their feet, which could have an impact on biomechanics. Because all testing was performed on a treadmill, these results may not be generalizable to outdoor or track running. Finally, we assessed only the immediate impact of footwear; it is possible that a short-term trial (days to weeks) or longer term trial (months) of different types of running footwear might have greater influence on running biomechanics. CONCLUSION This study suggests potential immediate biomechanical benefits of minimalist footwear over traditional, heavily cushioned shoes in adolescent cross-country runners. By improving running biomechanics, minimalist footwear may improve running efficiency and performance.
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  • Fall '15
  • Dr. Wiersma

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