Immediate and short-term biomechanical adaptation of habitual barefoot runners who start shod running

Ivan P.H. Au, Fannie O.Y. Lau, Winko W. An, Janet H. Zhang, Tony L. Chen, Tsz Hei Cheung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the immediate and short-term effects of minimalist shoes (MS) and traditional running shoes (TRS) on vertical loading rates, foot strike pattern and lower limb kinematics in a group of habitual barefoot runners. Twelve habitual barefoot runners were randomly given a pair of MS or TRS and were asked to run with the prescribed shoes for 1 month. Outcome variables were obtained before, immediate after and 1 month after shoe prescription. Average and instantaneous vertical loading rates at the 1-month follow-up were significantly higher than that at the pre-shod session (P < 0.034, η 2 p > 0.474). Foot strike angle in the TRS group was significantly lower than that in the MS group (P = 0.045, η 2 p = 0.585). However, there was no significant time nor shoe effect on overstride, knee and ankle excursion (P > 0.061). Habitual barefoot runners appeared to land with a greater impact during shod running and they tended to have a more rearfoot strike pattern while wearing TRS. Lower limb kinematics were comparable before and after shoe prescription. Longer period of follow-up is suggested to further investigate the footwear effect on the running biomechanics in habitual barefoot runners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-455
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2018


  • kinetics
  • landing
  • Shoe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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