Int J Sports Med 2005; 26(7): 593-598
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-821327
Orthopedics & Biomechanics

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Mechanical Comparison of Barefoot and Shod Running[*]

C. Divert1 , G. Mornieux1 , H. Baur2 , F. Mayer2 , A. Belli1
  • 1Laboratory of Physiology, GIP Exercice-Sport-Santé, University of Saint-Etienne, France
  • 2Medical Clinic, Department of Preventive and Rehabilitative Sports Medicine, University of Freiburg, Germany
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: July 30, 2004

Publication Date:
27 September 2004 (online)


In order to further compare shod versus barefoot running, 35 subjects ran two bouts of 4 minutes at 3.33 m · s-1 on a treadmill dynamometer. Parameters were measured on about 60 consecutive steps. Barefoot showed mainly lower contact and flight time (p < 0.05), lower passive peak (1.48 versus 1.70 body weight, p < 0.05), higher braking and pushing impulses (p < 0.05), and higher pre-activation of triceps surae muscles (p < 0.05) than shod. It was concluded that when performed on a sufficient number of steps, barefoot running leads to a reduction of impact peak in order to reduce the high mechanical stress occurring during repetitive steps. This neural-mechanical adaptation could also enhance the storage and restitution of elastic energy at ankle extensors level.

1 The work was undertaken at the Laboratoire de Physiologie - GIP E2S, Pavillon 12, Hôpital St Jean Bonnefonds, 42055 Saint-Etienne Cedex 2, France


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1 The work was undertaken at the Laboratoire de Physiologie - GIP E2S, Pavillon 12, Hôpital St Jean Bonnefonds, 42055 Saint-Etienne Cedex 2, France

C. Divert

Laboratoire de Physiologie - GIP E2S

Pavillon 12, Hôpital St Jean Bonnefonds

42055 Saint-Etienne Cedex 2


Phone: + 33477127985

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