Shoes alter the spring-like function of the human foot during running

Kelly, Luke, Lichtwark, Glen, Farris, Dominic and Cresswell, Andrew (2016) Shoes alter the spring-like function of the human foot during running. Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 13 119: 1-9. doi:10.1098/rsif.2016.0174


Author Kelly, Luke
Lichtwark, Glen
Farris, Dominic
Cresswell, Andrew
Title Shoes alter the spring-like function of the human foot during running
Journal name Journal of The Royal Society Interface   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1742-5662
1742-5689
Publication date 2016-06-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsif.2016.0174
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 13
Issue 119
Start page 1
End page 9
Total pages 9
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Language eng
Abstract The capacity to store and return energy in legs and feet that behave like springs is crucial to human running economy. Recent comparisons of shod and barefoot running have led to suggestions that modern running shoes may actually impede leg and foot-spring function by reducing the contributions from the leg and foot musculature. Here we examined the effect of running shoes on foot longitudinal arch (LA) motion and activation of the intrinsic foot muscles. Participants ran on a force-instrumented treadmill with and without running shoes. We recorded foot kinematics and muscle activation of the intrinsic foot muscles using intramuscular electromyography. In contrast to previous assertions, we observed an increase in both the peak (flexor digitorum brevis +60%) and total stance muscle activation (flexor digitorum brevis +70% and abductor hallucis +53%) of the intrinsic foot muscles when running with shoes. Increased intrinsic muscle activation corresponded with a reduction in LA compression (−25%). We confirm that running shoes do indeed influence the mechanical function of the foot. However, our findings suggest that these mechanical adjustments are likely to have occurred as a result of increased neuromuscular output, rather than impaired control as previously speculated. We propose a theoretical model for foot–shoe interaction to explain these novel findings.
Keyword Barefoot running
Intrinsic foot muscles
Longitudinal arch
Leg-spring mechanics
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 2014000885
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 17 Jun 2016, 23:34:42 EST by Sandrine Ducrot on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences