Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 417 - 423

Research article
A Comparison of Stride Length and Lower Extremity Kinematics during Barefoot and Shod Running in Well Trained Distance Runners
Peter Francis1,2, , James Ledingham1, Sarah Clarke1,3,4, DJ Collins1, Philip Jakeman1
Author Information
1 Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland
2 School of Clinical and Applied Science, Leeds Beckett University, UK
3 School of Sport, Leeds Beckett University, UK
4 School of Health and Human Performance, Northern Michigan University, USA

Peter Francis
✉ Senior Lecturer in Sport and Rehabilitation Science, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, LS13HE, United Kingdom
Publish Date
Received: 02-03-2016
Accepted: 16-06-2016
Published (online): 05-08-2016
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Stride length, hip, knee and ankle angles were compared during barefoot and shod running on a treadmill at two speeds. Nine well-trained (1500m time: 3min:59.80s ± 14.7 s) male (22 ±3 years; 73 ±9 kg; 1.79 ±0.4 m) middle distance (800 m – 5,000 m) runners performed 2 minutes of running at 3.05 m·s-1 and 4.72 m·s-1 on an treadmill. This approach allowed continuous measurement of lower extremity kinematic data and calculation of stride length. Statistical analysis using a 2X2 factorial ANOVA revealed speed to have a main effect on stride length and hip angle and footwear to have a main effect on hip angle. There was a significant speed*footwear interaction for knee and ankle angles. Compared to shod running at the lower speed (3.05 m·s-1), well trained runners have greater hip, knee and ankle angles when running barefoot. Runners undertake a high volume (~75%) of training at lower intensities and therefore knowledge of how barefoot running alters running kinematics at low and high speeds may be useful to the runner.

Key words: Running mechanics, endurance, hip, knee, ankle

           Key Points
  • Barefoot and shod kinematics are examined in competitive track runners with a mean 1500m personal best of 3:59:80. Previous literature has not investigated competitive track runners.
  • Compared to amateur runners, competitive track runners demonstrate a smaller reduction in stride length during barefoot running at ~3 m·s-1.
  • There is no difference in stride length or lower extremity kinematics when running at 4.72 m·s-1.
  • Given that competitive runners spend a large (~75%) amount of time training at lower speeds, interventions which favourably alter running kinematics may be advantageous for the prevention of injury.
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