An et al. Barefoot running has been proposed to reduce vertical loading rates, which is a risk factor of running injuries. Most of the previous studies evaluated runners on level surfaces. This study examined the effect of surface inclination on vertical loading rates and landing pattern during the first attempt of barefoot running among habitual shod runners. Twenty habitual shod runners were asked to run on treadmill at 8.0 km/h at three inclination angles (0°; +10°; -10°) with and without their usual running shoes. Vertical average rate (VALR) and instantaneous loading rate (VILR) were obtained by established methods. Landing pattern was decided using high-speed camera. VALR and VILR in shod condition were significantly higher (p<0.001) in declined than in level or inclined treadmill running, but not in barefoot condition (p>0.382). There was no difference (p>0.413) in the landing pattern among all surface inclinations. Only one runner demonstrated complete transition to non-heel strike landing in all slope conditions. Reducing heel strike ratio in barefoot running did not ensure a decrease in loading rates (p>0.15). Conversely, non-heel strike landing, regardless of footwear condition, would result in a softer landing (p<0.011).
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)