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The effect of unstable sandals on instability in gait in healthy female subjects

Price, C, Smith, L, Graham-Smith, P and Jones, R 2013, 'The effect of unstable sandals on instability in gait in healthy female subjects' , Gait & Posture, 38 (3) , pp. 410-415.

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Unstable footwear generally lacks thorough peer-review published research to support concepts and marketing claims. The purpose of this study was to investigate the instability induced by four (FitFlop, Masai Barefoot Technology, Reebok Easy-Tone and Skechers Tone-Ups) commercially available unstable sandals and one stable control sandal (Earth) in walking in 15 females (mean ± SD age was 29 ± 6.7 years, mass 62.6 ± 6.9 kg and height 167.1 ± 4.2 cm). Three-dimensional motion with synchronised electromyography and kinetic data were collected. Walking speed and step length remained consistent between conditions, however double support time decreased in Masai Barefoot Technology. Centre of pressure data identified no consistent difference between the stable control and the unstable sandals, however Masai Barefoot Technology reduced the anterior–posterior range of centre of pressure. Muscle activity differed significantly at the ankle in the unstable footwear. FitFlop, Reebok and Skechers increased peroneal activity during pre-swing, whereas Masai Barefoot Technology increased medial gastrocnemius and decreased tibialis anterior activity in loading response and mid-stance. The larger rocker sole of the Masai Barefoot Technology altered gait and muscle activation with regard to braking and progression in the sagittal plane. Reebok, Skechers and FitFlop, with softer, less stable foreparts increased evertor action at toe-off, having their effect in the coronal plane. The study highlighted that any instability induced by the shoes is design-specific.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Gait & Posture
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0966-6362
Related URLs:
Depositing User: S Rafiq
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2014 15:02
Last Modified: 12 Sep 2014 15:02

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