Is midsole thickness a key parameter for the running pattern?

Abstract : Many studies have highlighted differences in foot strike pattern comparing habitually shod runners who ran barefoot and with running shoes. Barefoot running results in a flatter foot landing and in a decreased vertical ground reaction force compared to shod running. The aim of this study was to investigate one possible parameter influencing running pattern: the midsole thickness. Fifteen participants ran overground at 3.3 m s À1 barefoot and with five shoes of different midsole thickness (0 mm, 2 mm, 4 mm, 8 mm, 16 mm) with no difference of height between rearfoot and forefoot. Impact magnitude was evaluated using transient peak of vertical ground reaction force, loading rate, tibial acceleration peak and rate. Hip, knee and ankle flexion angles were computed at touch-down and during stance phase (range of motion and maximum values). External net joint moments and stiffness for hip, knee and ankle joints were also observed as well as global leg stiffness. No significant effect of midsole thickness was observed on ground reaction force and tibial acceleration. However, the contact time increased with midsole thickness. Barefoot running compared to shod running induced ankle in plantar flexion at touch-down, higher ankle dorsiflexion and lower knee flexion during stance phase. These adjustments are suspected to explain the absence of difference on ground reaction force and tibial acceleration. This study showed that the presence of very thin footwear upper and sole was sufficient to significantly influence the running pattern.
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Gait and Posture, Elsevier, 2014, 40 (1), pp.58-63. 〈10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.02.005〉
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Nicolas Chambon, Nicolas Delattre, Nils Guéguen, Eric Berton, Guillaume Rao. Is midsole thickness a key parameter for the running pattern?. Gait and Posture, Elsevier, 2014, 40 (1), pp.58-63. 〈10.1016/j.gaitpost.2014.02.005〉. 〈hal-01440208〉

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