A comparison of multi-segment foot kinematics during level overground and treadmill walking

Gait Posture. 2010 Jan;31(1):104-8. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.09.007. Epub 2009 Oct 24.


Previous work comparing treadmill and overground walking has focused on lower extremity motion and kinetics, with few identified differences. However, a comparison of multi-segment foot kinematics between these conditions has not been previously reported. Sagittal ankle motion using a single rigid body foot model and three-dimensional hindfoot and forefoot kinematics were compared during barefoot, level, overground walking at a self-selected speed and treadmill walking at a similar speed for 20 healthy adults. Slight differences were seen in ankle plantarflexion and hindfoot plantarflexion during first rocker, as well as peak forefoot eversion and abduction, however all changes were less than 3 degrees , and most were within the day-to-day repeatability. These results indicate that foot mechanics as determined using a multi-segment foot model were similar between overground and treadmill walking at similar speeds in healthy adults. Treadmill protocols may provide a controlled method to analyze a patient's ability to adapt to walking at different speeds and surface slopes, which are encountered often during ambulation of daily living.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Foot / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surface Properties
  • Walking / physiology*