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. 2020 Jan 28;17(3):818.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph17030818.

Alterations in Running Biomechanics After 12 Week Gait Retraining With Minimalist Shoes

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Free PMC article

Alterations in Running Biomechanics After 12 Week Gait Retraining With Minimalist Shoes

Yang Yang et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Purpose: The intervention of 12 week gait retraining with minimalist shoes was established to examine its effect on impact forces, joint mechanics, and vertical stiffness during running. Methods: Thirty male recreational runners were randomly assigned to the gait retraining + minimalist shoe (n = 15, GR) and minimalist shoe (n = 15, MIN) groups. The ground reaction force and marker trajectories were collected before and after intervention at a speed of 3.33 ± 5% m/s. Results: A total of 17 participants (9 in the GR group and 8 in the MIN group) completed the training. After training, (1) the loading rate of both groups decreased significantly, and the loading rate of the GR group was lower than that of the MIN group. (2) The foot strike angle of the GR group decreased significantly after training, and the plantarflexion angle and hip joint angular extension velocity increased in both groups. (3) The moment of ankle joint increased in the GR group, and the stiffness of lower limbs was significantly improved in both groups. Conclusion: The 12 week gait retraining with minimalist shoes converted rearfoot strikers into forefoot strikers with a rate of 78% (7/9). More importantly, such a combined program, compared to the training with only minimalist shoes, can avoid the peak impact force and decrease the loading rate more effectively, thus providing a potential means of reducing risk of running injury caused by impact forces. Moreover, the increased vertical stiffness of lower extremity after gait retraining may improve running economy and corresponding energy utilization. However, these observations also suggest that the sole use of minimalist footwear may have limited effects on reducing running-related impacts.

Keywords: gait retraining; minimalist shoe; running biomechanics; strike pattern.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Flow diagram of this study.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The marker-set and the experimental setup.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Angles of lower extremity joints.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Comparison of loading rate between two groups before and after training.
Figure 5
Figure 5
Comparison of foot-strike angle (left) and ankle angle (right) between two groups before and after training. * significant difference from pre- to post-tests in GR group; #: significant difference between groups at time point, p < 0.005; &: significant difference from pre- to post-tests in MIN group.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Comparison of peak moment (left column) and peak power (right column) of hip, knee, and ankle between two groups before and after training. * significant difference from pre- to post-tests.
Figure 7
Figure 7
Comparison of lower limbs stiffness between two groups before and after training. * significant difference from pre- to post-tests.

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