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BACKGROUND: A suggested link between ambulatory mechanics and injury development has resulted in significant interest the development of footwear to change locomotion patterns. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that there will be significant changes in the kinematics and kinetics at the ankle and minimal changes at the knee and hip in the mechanics of running in a shoe with a sagittal plane curvature relative to a flat soled shoe.
METHODS: During running 3-D lower extremity kinematics and kinetics for 19 healthy volunteers were quantified using an optoelectronics system and a force plate. Data were collected for a flat sole conventional shoe (New Balance 658 (Control)) and a shoe with a rounded sole in the sagittal plane (Masai Barefoot Technologies (MBT)). Data were compared for the two shoe conditions using paired Student t-tests (alpha=0.05).
FINDINGS: The ankle dorsi-flexion angles at heel-strike and mid-stance were greater, while the ankle plantar and dorsi-flexion moments and peak ankle joint power were significantly lower with the MBT relative to the control (P<0.05). Decreases in the first medial GRF peak and the peak anterior GRF peak were also found for running in the MBT shoe.
INTERPRETATION: Despite a major difference in sole geometry, accommodations to the rockered sole were found only at the ankle. These results suggest changes in ankle kinematics and kinetics may be used to minimize the effect of changes in sole rocker on limb dynamics. Thus, changes in shoe rocker may offer potential therapeutic opportunities for running related conditions at the ankle without substantial risk to the knee or hip
[Despite a major difference in sole geometry, accommodations to the rockered sole were found only at the ankle. These results suggest changes in ankle kinematics and kinetics may be used to minimize the effect of changes in sole rocker on limb dynamics. Thus, changes in shoe rocker may offer potential therapeutic opportunities for running related conditions at the ankle without substantial risk to the knee or hip
This finding appears not to support the companies claim about the postural effects of these shoes.
__________________ Craig Payne
__________________________________________________ ___________________________________ Follow me on Twitter | Run Junkie God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things - right now I am so far behind, I will never die.
My experience and initial evaluation of the MBT shoe as both a training tool and a running shoe are quite promising. However, I do not agree with most of the literature available espousing that MBT shoes create instability. Contrary to that, I believe MBT shoes to enhance overall stability as the rocker bottom sole acts in symphony to engage the postural muscles to stabilize the user's interaction with hard surfaces. This action of maintaining balance does solicit postural muscle activity to a greater degree than the normal flat surface running shoe. Thus hip, knee, foot and ankle stabilizers are all exercised to a greater degree facilitating a fast return from injury and perhaps lessening chances of future injury.
MBT shoes are self-righting in both a sagittal and coronal planes. In other words, they help to maintain balance from front to back and side to side.
I intend to write a more complete evaluation of the value of MBT Shoes for Training to Return from injury and as an everyday best running shoe. Look for that in my blog in the near future