Redistribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints during fast running in minimalist shoes

Joel T. Fuller, Jonathan D. Buckley, Margarita D. Tsiros, Nicholas A T Brown, Dominic Thewlis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Context: Minimalist shoes have been suggested as a way to alter running biomechanics to improve running performance and reduce injuries. However, to date, researchers have only considered the effect of minimalist shoes at slow running speeds. Objective: To determine if runners change foot-strike pattern and alter the distribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints when running at a fast speed in minimalist shoes compared with conventional running shoes. Design: Crossover study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-six trained runners (age = 30.0 ± 7.9 years [age range, 18-40 years], height = 1.79 ± 0.06 m, mass = 75.3 ± 8.2 kg, weekly training distance = 27 ± 15 km) who ran with a habitual rearfoot foot-strike pattern and had no experience running in minimalist shoes. Intervention(s): Participants completed overground running trials at 18 km/h in minimalist and conventional shoes. Main Outcome Measure(s): Sagittal-plane kinematics and joint work at the knee and ankle joints were computed using 3-dimensional kinematic and ground reaction force data. Footstrike pattern was classified as rearfoot, midfoot, or forefoot strike based on strike index and ankle angle at initial contact. Results: We observed no difference in foot-strike classification between shoes (χ2 1 = 2.29, P =.13). Ankle angle at initial contact was less (2.468 versus 7.43°; t25 = 3.34, P =.003) and strike index was greater (35.97% versus 29.04%; t25 = 2.38, P =.03) when running in minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. We observed greater negative (52.87 J versus 42.46 J; t24 = 2.29, P =.03) and positive work (68.91 J versus 59.08 J; t24 = 2.65, P=.01) at the ankle but less negative (59.01 J versus 67.02 J; t24 = 2.25, P =.03) and positive work (40.37 J versus 47.09 J; t24 = 2.11, P =.046) at the knee with minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. Conclusions: Running in minimalist shoes at a fast speed caused a redistribution of work from the knee to the ankle joint. This finding suggests that runners changing from conventional to minimalist shoes for short-distance races could be at an increased risk of ankle and calf injuries but a reduced risk of knee injuries.

LanguageEnglish
Pages806-812
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Volume51
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Shoes
Ankle Joint
Knee Joint
Biomechanical Phenomena
Ankle
Foot
Knee
Ankle Injuries
Knee Injuries
Cross-Over Studies

Keywords

  • Foot strike
  • Footfall
  • Footwear
  • Kinematics
  • Kinetics

Cite this

Fuller, Joel T. ; Buckley, Jonathan D. ; Tsiros, Margarita D. ; Brown, Nicholas A T ; Thewlis, Dominic. / Redistribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints during fast running in minimalist shoes. In: Journal of Athletic Training. 2016 ; Vol. 51, No. 10. pp. 806-812.
@article{abb3b31d96d04a5da9000807020a921f,
title = "Redistribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints during fast running in minimalist shoes",
abstract = "Context: Minimalist shoes have been suggested as a way to alter running biomechanics to improve running performance and reduce injuries. However, to date, researchers have only considered the effect of minimalist shoes at slow running speeds. Objective: To determine if runners change foot-strike pattern and alter the distribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints when running at a fast speed in minimalist shoes compared with conventional running shoes. Design: Crossover study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-six trained runners (age = 30.0 ± 7.9 years [age range, 18-40 years], height = 1.79 ± 0.06 m, mass = 75.3 ± 8.2 kg, weekly training distance = 27 ± 15 km) who ran with a habitual rearfoot foot-strike pattern and had no experience running in minimalist shoes. Intervention(s): Participants completed overground running trials at 18 km/h in minimalist and conventional shoes. Main Outcome Measure(s): Sagittal-plane kinematics and joint work at the knee and ankle joints were computed using 3-dimensional kinematic and ground reaction force data. Footstrike pattern was classified as rearfoot, midfoot, or forefoot strike based on strike index and ankle angle at initial contact. Results: We observed no difference in foot-strike classification between shoes (χ2 1 = 2.29, P =.13). Ankle angle at initial contact was less (2.468 versus 7.43°; t25 = 3.34, P =.003) and strike index was greater (35.97{\%} versus 29.04{\%}; t25 = 2.38, P =.03) when running in minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. We observed greater negative (52.87 J versus 42.46 J; t24 = 2.29, P =.03) and positive work (68.91 J versus 59.08 J; t24 = 2.65, P=.01) at the ankle but less negative (59.01 J versus 67.02 J; t24 = 2.25, P =.03) and positive work (40.37 J versus 47.09 J; t24 = 2.11, P =.046) at the knee with minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. Conclusions: Running in minimalist shoes at a fast speed caused a redistribution of work from the knee to the ankle joint. This finding suggests that runners changing from conventional to minimalist shoes for short-distance races could be at an increased risk of ankle and calf injuries but a reduced risk of knee injuries.",
keywords = "Foot strike, Footfall, Footwear, Kinematics, Kinetics",
author = "Fuller, {Joel T.} and Buckley, {Jonathan D.} and Tsiros, {Margarita D.} and Brown, {Nicholas A T} and Dominic Thewlis",
year = "2016",
month = "10",
day = "1",
doi = "10.4085/1062-6050-51.12.05",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "806--812",
journal = "Journal of Athletic Training",
issn = "1062-6050",
publisher = "National Athletic Trainers' Association Inc.",
number = "10",

}

Redistribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints during fast running in minimalist shoes. / Fuller, Joel T.; Buckley, Jonathan D.; Tsiros, Margarita D.; Brown, Nicholas A T; Thewlis, Dominic.

In: Journal of Athletic Training, Vol. 51, No. 10, 01.10.2016, p. 806-812.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Redistribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints during fast running in minimalist shoes

AU - Fuller, Joel T.

AU - Buckley, Jonathan D.

AU - Tsiros, Margarita D.

AU - Brown, Nicholas A T

AU - Thewlis, Dominic

PY - 2016/10/1

Y1 - 2016/10/1

N2 - Context: Minimalist shoes have been suggested as a way to alter running biomechanics to improve running performance and reduce injuries. However, to date, researchers have only considered the effect of minimalist shoes at slow running speeds. Objective: To determine if runners change foot-strike pattern and alter the distribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints when running at a fast speed in minimalist shoes compared with conventional running shoes. Design: Crossover study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-six trained runners (age = 30.0 ± 7.9 years [age range, 18-40 years], height = 1.79 ± 0.06 m, mass = 75.3 ± 8.2 kg, weekly training distance = 27 ± 15 km) who ran with a habitual rearfoot foot-strike pattern and had no experience running in minimalist shoes. Intervention(s): Participants completed overground running trials at 18 km/h in minimalist and conventional shoes. Main Outcome Measure(s): Sagittal-plane kinematics and joint work at the knee and ankle joints were computed using 3-dimensional kinematic and ground reaction force data. Footstrike pattern was classified as rearfoot, midfoot, or forefoot strike based on strike index and ankle angle at initial contact. Results: We observed no difference in foot-strike classification between shoes (χ2 1 = 2.29, P =.13). Ankle angle at initial contact was less (2.468 versus 7.43°; t25 = 3.34, P =.003) and strike index was greater (35.97% versus 29.04%; t25 = 2.38, P =.03) when running in minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. We observed greater negative (52.87 J versus 42.46 J; t24 = 2.29, P =.03) and positive work (68.91 J versus 59.08 J; t24 = 2.65, P=.01) at the ankle but less negative (59.01 J versus 67.02 J; t24 = 2.25, P =.03) and positive work (40.37 J versus 47.09 J; t24 = 2.11, P =.046) at the knee with minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. Conclusions: Running in minimalist shoes at a fast speed caused a redistribution of work from the knee to the ankle joint. This finding suggests that runners changing from conventional to minimalist shoes for short-distance races could be at an increased risk of ankle and calf injuries but a reduced risk of knee injuries.

AB - Context: Minimalist shoes have been suggested as a way to alter running biomechanics to improve running performance and reduce injuries. However, to date, researchers have only considered the effect of minimalist shoes at slow running speeds. Objective: To determine if runners change foot-strike pattern and alter the distribution of mechanical work at the knee and ankle joints when running at a fast speed in minimalist shoes compared with conventional running shoes. Design: Crossover study. Setting: Research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-six trained runners (age = 30.0 ± 7.9 years [age range, 18-40 years], height = 1.79 ± 0.06 m, mass = 75.3 ± 8.2 kg, weekly training distance = 27 ± 15 km) who ran with a habitual rearfoot foot-strike pattern and had no experience running in minimalist shoes. Intervention(s): Participants completed overground running trials at 18 km/h in minimalist and conventional shoes. Main Outcome Measure(s): Sagittal-plane kinematics and joint work at the knee and ankle joints were computed using 3-dimensional kinematic and ground reaction force data. Footstrike pattern was classified as rearfoot, midfoot, or forefoot strike based on strike index and ankle angle at initial contact. Results: We observed no difference in foot-strike classification between shoes (χ2 1 = 2.29, P =.13). Ankle angle at initial contact was less (2.468 versus 7.43°; t25 = 3.34, P =.003) and strike index was greater (35.97% versus 29.04%; t25 = 2.38, P =.03) when running in minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. We observed greater negative (52.87 J versus 42.46 J; t24 = 2.29, P =.03) and positive work (68.91 J versus 59.08 J; t24 = 2.65, P=.01) at the ankle but less negative (59.01 J versus 67.02 J; t24 = 2.25, P =.03) and positive work (40.37 J versus 47.09 J; t24 = 2.11, P =.046) at the knee with minimalist shoes compared with conventional shoes. Conclusions: Running in minimalist shoes at a fast speed caused a redistribution of work from the knee to the ankle joint. This finding suggests that runners changing from conventional to minimalist shoes for short-distance races could be at an increased risk of ankle and calf injuries but a reduced risk of knee injuries.

KW - Foot strike

KW - Footfall

KW - Footwear

KW - Kinematics

KW - Kinetics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85007049050&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.4085/1062-6050-51.12.05

DO - 10.4085/1062-6050-51.12.05

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 806

EP - 812

JO - Journal of Athletic Training

T2 - Journal of Athletic Training

JF - Journal of Athletic Training

SN - 1062-6050

IS - 10

ER -