The effect of shoes, surface conditions and sex on leg geometry at touchdown in habitually shod runners

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Leg geometry at touchdown has a critical effect on joint loading in the initial contact phase in running. The purpose of this
study was to systematically investigate the effects of footwear, surface conditions and sex on the kinematic striking
configuration of the lower extremity when running at a constant speed (3.5 m/s). Three-dimensional touchdown kinematics
were captured from 20 male and 19 female participants when running barefoot and with a neutral running shoe on four
different surfaces. On harder surfaces and when running barefoot, subjects tended to land with a more plantarflexed foot
position and ankle angle as well as a more vertical shank alignment. Different adaptation strategies to running surface
stiffness were observed between barefoot and shod conditions. It seems that touchdown behaviour is adapted to
compensate for the force distributing and energy absorption potentials of distinct surface x shoe combinations. If
the combined compliance of the shoe plus surface combination exceeds a certain level, touchdown kinematics seem to be
adapted to improve joint stability during early stance. Sex effects were identified mainly in shank and thigh frontal plane
orientation and knee flexion angle.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFootwear Science
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 30.04.2014

ID: 211644

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