The biomechanical characteristics of wearing FitFlop™ sandals highlight significant alterations in gait pattern: a comparative study.

Journal article


James, DC, Farmer, LJ, Sayers, JB, Cook, DP and Mileva, K. (2015). The biomechanical characteristics of wearing FitFlop™ sandals highlight significant alterations in gait pattern: a comparative study. Clinical Biomechanics. 30 (4), pp. 347-354. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2015.02.016
AuthorsJames, DC, Farmer, LJ, Sayers, JB, Cook, DP and Mileva, K.
Abstract

BACKGROUND: The net contribution of all muscles that act about a joint can be represented as an internal joint moment profile. This approach may be advantageous when studying footwear-induced perturbations during walking since the contribution of the smaller deeper muscles that cross the ankle joint cannot be evaluated with surface electromyography. Therefore, the present study aimed to advance the understanding of FitFlop™ footwear interaction by investigating lower extremity joint moment, and kinematic and centre of pressure profiles during gait. METHODS: 28 healthy participants performed 5 walking trials in 3 conditions: a FitFlop™ sandal, a conventional sandal and an athletic trainer. Three-dimensional ankle joint, and sagittal plane knee and hip joint moments, as well as corresponding kinematics and centre of pressure trajectories were evaluated. FINDINGS: FitFlop™ differed significantly to both the conventional sandal and athletic trainer in: average anterior position of centre of pressure trajectory (P<0.0001) and peak hip extensor moment (P=0.001) during early stance; average medial position of centre of pressure trajectory during late stance; peak ankle dorsiflexion and corresponding range of motion; peak plantarflexor moment and total negative work performed at the ankle (all P<0.0001). INTERPRETATION: The present findings demonstrate that FitFlop™ footwear significantly alters the gait pattern of wearers. An anterior displacement of the centre of pressure trajectory during early stance is the primary response to the destabilising effect of the mid-sole technology, and this leads to reductions in sagittal plane ankle joint range of motion and corresponding kinetics. Future investigations should consider the clinical implications of these findings.

KeywordsLower Extremity; Ankle Joint; Hip Joint; Knee Joint; Humans; Electromyography; Gait; Range of Motion, Articular; Walking; Analysis of Variance; Kinetics; Shoes; Adult; Female; Male; Biomechanical Phenomena; Footwear; Gait; Instability; Joint moment; Adult; Analysis of Variance; Ankle Joint; Biomechanical Phenomena; Electromyography; Female; Gait; Hip Joint; Humans; Kinetics; Knee Joint; Lower Extremity; Male; Range of Motion, Articular; Shoes; Walking; 0903 Biomedical Engineering; 1106 Human Movement And Sports Science; 0913 Mechanical Engineering; Orthopedics
Year2015
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Journal citation30 (4), pp. 347-354
PublisherElsevier
ISSN1879-1271
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2015.02.016
Publication dates
Print04 Mar 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited31 May 2018
Accepted23 Feb 2015
Accepted author manuscript
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Open
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