Calcaneal loading during walking and running

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Mar;32(3):627-34. doi: 10.1097/00005768-200003000-00012.


Purpose: This study of the foot uses experimentally measured kinematic and kinetic data with a numerical model to evaluate in vivo calcaneal stresses during walking and running.

Methods: External ground reaction forces (GRF) and kinematic data were measured during walking and running using cineradiography and force plate measurements. A contact-coupled finite element model of the foot was developed to assess the forces acting on the calcaneus during gait.

Results: We found that the calculated force-time profiles of the joint contact, ligament, and Achilles tendon forces varied with the time-history curve of the moment about the ankle joint. The model predicted peak talocalcaneal and calcaneocuboid joint loads of 5.4 and 4.2 body weights (BW) during walking and 11.1 and 7.9 BW during running. The maximum predicted Achilles tendon forces were 3.9 and 7.7 BW for walking and running.

Conclusions: Large magnitude forces and calcaneal stresses are generated late in the stance phase, with maximum loads occurring at approximately 70% of the stance phase during walking and at approximately 60% of the stance phase during running, for the gait velocities analyzed. The trajectories of the principal stresses, during both walking and running, corresponded to each other and qualitatively to the calcaneal trabecular architecture.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Calcaneus / anatomy & histology
  • Calcaneus / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Running / physiology*
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing