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Medicina dello Sport 2018 June;71(2):257-67

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.18.03029-6


language: English, Italian

Changes in the foot strike pattern and pressure distribution when running in minimalist and traditional sport shoes

Soňa JANDOVÁ 1, 2 , Martinique SPARKS 3, Piotr OLEŠNIEWICZ 4, Jan CHAROUSEK 1, Martina CHRÁSTKOVÁ 2, Julita MARKIEWICZ 4

1 Technical University of Liberec, Liberec, Czech Republic; 2 Charles University, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Prague, Czech Republic; 3 Physical Activity, Sport and Recreation (PhASRec), Faculty of Health Sciences of the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), Potchefstroom, South Africa; 4 The University School of Physical Education in Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland


BACKGROUND: New trends in the use of minimalist shoes and barefoot running lead to the monitoring of movement patterns wearing sports shoes and minimalist shoes while running. Therefore, the objective was to compare the foot strike patterns for recreational runners in both traditional sport and minimalist shoes and to identify differentiations of the plantar pressure distribution.
METHODS: Fifteen recreational runners (8 males and 7 females, aged 34.6±6.2 years, body height: 1.80±0.08 m, body weight: 68.1±8.9 kg) volunteered for the study. The Pedar system (Pedar-x; Novel, Munich, Germany) was used for the dynamic analysis and Matlab (Mathworks, Inc., Natick, MA, USA) for the statistical analysis.
RESULTS: Four (26.7%) and seven (46.7%) runners wearing traditional running shoes (TRS) used the midfoot strike (MFS) and the rearfoot strike (RFS) patterns, respectively. Out of 15 runners, six (40%) in minimalist footwear used forefoot strike (FFS), five (33.3%) relied on MFS, and the remaining four (26.7%) utilized RFS. TRS resulted in significantly (P≤0.05) lower peak pressure values compared with the minimalist shoes at heel strike and toe-off. The TRS led to a longer stride time (mean: 0.697±0.065 s) than minimalist footwear (mean: 0.665±0.082 s).
CONCLUSIONS: The main finding of the study was that the foot strike behavior among recreational runners was influenced by shoe type. Furthermore, the different types of foot strike patterns lead to differences in the center of pressure (COP) line. Wearing traditional running shoes was linked with lower peak pressure. The (COP) trajectory is shorter in the anterior-posterior direction depending on the foot strike patterns. Caution should be taken when recommending running in minimalist shoes to people who suffer from foot pain.

KEY WORDS: Running - Gait - Plantar plate - Shoes

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