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Analysis of Changes in Running Technique Between a Shod and Barefoot Running Condition.
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Lately, barefoot running has become popular and there is a debate on the pros and cons of barefoot running with regards to running injuries. Many factors are causing injuries and one of the factors discussed is the fact that we run in shoes. When we run in shoes the biomechanics of the running technique may and therefore be a possible cause to injury. Aim: The aim of the study was to assess how the foot strike pattern, angle of the knee and ankle joint at time of initial contact, as well as the step length changes between a shod and barefoot running condition in habitually shod runners when running in a pace equivalent to their running pace over ten kilometers. Method: Twenty-seven healthy runners (18 male, 9 female) were included in the study. The study took place at the fitness center of Halmstad University. Subjects ran on a treadmill, in an individual pace equivalent to their running pace over ten km, both in a shod and barefoot running condition. Two-dimensional analysis of the sagittal plane kinematics of the knee joint, ankle joint and foot position to horizontal, foot strike pattern and step length was done. Participants ran for ten minutes with shoes and for five minutes barefoot. Running technique was videotaped using an Iphone 6 camera and landmarks were marked with white tape to ease the analysis. Results: Changes in foot strike pattern was observed. When running barefoot 63% of the subjects adopted a non-heel strike pattern compared to 18.5% when shod (p=0.001). Knee flexion was increased at IC for the barefoot condition, with 164°±6 relative knee angle compared to 167°±6 when shod (p=0.001). Ankle angle at IC did not show a statistical significant difference between conditions (p=0.657). When barefoot the angle was 117°±8 compared to 115°±8 when shod. Foot angle to horizontal showed a flatter foot placement at IC with a less dorsiflexed foot for the barefoot condition (-4°±8) compared to shod (-12°±8), (p=0.001). Step length was decreased for the barefoot condition (0.82m ±0.15)   compared to shod (0.85m ±0.13), (p=0.008). Conclusion: Results are consistent with previous findings that barefoot running in some cases change the running technique with a flatter foot placement, an increased knee flexion at IC and a decreased step length. However, caution must be taken when habitually shod runners transition to barefoot running in regards to the biomechanical changes that may occur. To benefit from barefoot running a non-heel strike pattern is required. Further, the running technique may be the more important factor, regardless of wearing shoes or not.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 28 p.
Keyword [en]
biomechanics, running, barefoot, running technique
National Category
Other Medical Sciences not elsewhere specified Other Medical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-31064OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-31064DiVA: diva2:934195
Subject / course
Biomedicine Targeting Physical Education
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2016-07-04 Created: 2016-06-08 Last updated: 2016-07-04Bibliographically approved

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