CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Sports Med Int Open 2018; 02(02): E41-E45
DOI: 10.1055/a-0620-8039
Orthopedics & Biomechanics
Eigentümer und Copyright ©Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2018

Small Step Frequency Changes Due to Footwear Condition Have No Effect on Running Economy

Joe Warne
1  Institute of Technology Tallaght, Applied Science, Dublin, Ireland
3  Setanta College, Tipperary, Ireland
Kieran Andrew Moran
2  Dublin City University, School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin, Ireland
Giles D Warrington
3  University of Limerick Faculty of Education and Health Sciences, Education and Health Sciences, Limerick, Ireland
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

received 16 February 2018
revised  29 March 2018

accepted 15 April 2018

Publication Date:
16 May 2018 (online)



The aim of this study is to examine if small increases to step frequency associated with minimal footwear can influence Running Economy (RE). Twelve club-level runners with eight weeks of minimal footwear experience were recruited (age, 41±9 years; stature, 177.2±10.4 cm; body mass, 72.6±10.2 kg; V˙O2max, 52.1±7.5 mL·min−1·kg−1). Two 6-min RE tests, one in minimal footwear and one in conventional running shoes were performed at 11 km·h−1. Two more 6-min tests were completed during which step frequency was controlled using a metronome at the cadence of the opposite footwear condition (RErevSF). Comparisons were completed between the same footwear using repeated measures ANCOVA. The increase in step frequency for minimal footwear vs. conventional running shoes was 7.3±2.3 steps per minute (3.9% difference; 95% CI of difference [5.87 to 8.80 steps/min]; p≤0.001; Cohen’s d=0.70). No significant differences were identified between RE and RErevSF for minimal footwear (40.72±4.08 vs. 41.09±4.19 mL·min−1·kg−1; 95% CI of difference [–1.71 to 0.97]; p=0.55; Cohen’s d=0.09), or conventional running shoes (42.04±4.68 vs. 41.74±5.09 mL·min−1·kg−1; 95% CI of difference [–0.78 to 1.37]; p=0.55; Cohen’s d=0.06). Small changes in step frequency (~4%) did not have any significant impact on RE.