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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
Rivista di Medicina, Traumatologia e Psicologia dello Sport
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 September;56(9):974-9
Mechanical and physiological analysis of minimalist versus traditionally-shod running
Adam KAHLE 1, Gregory A. BROWN 1, Ina SHAW 2, 3, Brandon S. SHAW 3 ✉
1 Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Sports Sciences, University of Nebraska, Kearney, NE, USA; 2 Research Department, Monash South Africa, Ruimsig, South Africa; 3 Department of Sport and Movement Studies, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
BACKGROUND: It has been purported that minimalist running shoes allow runners to be more biomechanically and metabolically economical, but evidence supporting these claims remains equivocal. This study’s aim was to measure oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), pulmonary ventilation (VE) and electromyography (EMG) of gastrocnemius and tibialis anterior in 12 recreationally-trained, college-aged males during minimalist and shod running.
METHODS: Participants ran at 70% VO2max on a treadmill in both minimalist and traditional shoes for six minutes each while VO2, HR, VE, EMG and steps taken were recorded.
RESULTS: Results indicated no significant differences in VO2 (2.39±0.17 vs. 2.43±0.15 L/min), HR (156.59±2.99 vs. 157.13±3.86 bpm), VE (46.97±3.19 vs. 47.00±2.83 L/min), EMG in the tibialis anterior (2.02±0.28 vs. 1.79±0.20 mV), EMG in the gastrocnemius (1.97±0.36 vs. 2.03±0.37 mV) or steps taken (946.08±13.50 vs. 962.42±19.68 steps) between running in traditional and minimalist shoes, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that there is no mechanical and physiological benefit when running wearing minimalist shoes as opposed to traditional shoes and warrants a cautious approach to transitioning to minimalist shoe use.