A new footwear technology to promote non-heelstrike landing and enhance running performance: Fact or fad?

Janet H. Zhang, Aislinn J.C. McPhail, Winko W. An, Waqar M. Naqvi, Daniel L.H. Chan, Ivan P.H. Au, Alvin T.W. Luk, Tony L. Chen, Tsz Hei Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This study sought to compare the kinetics and kinematics data in a group of habitual shod runners when running in traditional running shoes and newly designed minimalist shoes with lug platform. This novel footwear design claims to simulate barefoot running and reduce energy loss during impact. We compared footstrike angle (FSA), vertical average (VALR) and instantaneous (VILR) loading rates, energy loss and initial vertical stiffness between two shoe conditions. Runners demonstrated a decreased FSA while running in minimalist shoes with lug platform than traditional shoes (P = 0.003; Cohen’s d = 0.918). However, we did not observe a landing pattern transition. VALR and VILR between two footwear conditions showed no significant difference (P = 0.191–0.258; Cohen’s d = 0.304–0.460). Initial vertical stiffness (P = 0.032; Cohen’s d = 0.671) and energy loss (P = 0.044; Cohen’s d = 0.578) were greater when running in minimalist shoes with lug platform. The results show that minimalist shoes with lug platform reduce the FSA but may not lead to a landing pattern switch or lower vertical loading rates. Interestingly, the new shoe design leads to a greater energy loss than traditional running shoes, which could be explained by a higher initial vertical stiffness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1533-1537
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2017


  • energy loss
  • footstrike pattern transition
  • hysteresis
  • Minimalist shoes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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