K. Reyes1, C.D. Pollard2, J.J. Hannigan2

1Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; 2Oregon State University-Cascades, Bend, OR

Throughout the years, running footwear have evolved in an attempt to reduce the risk of injury, including maximal and minimal shoes. Despite the recent increase in popularity of maximal and minimal shoes, researchers have identified risk factors that may increase injury risk when analyzing ankle kinematics and vertical ground reaction forces. However, there is little research examining the effects of shoe cushioning on knee and hip kinematics. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to compare knee and hip kinematics between traditional, minimal, and maximal shoes during running. METHODS: Twenty-seven healthy experienced runners (8 men and 19 women) between the ages of 18-45 who ran at least 10 miles per week were recruited to participate in this study. An 8-camera motion capture system and two embedded force plates were used to collect three-dimensional kinematic data at the hip and knee in all three shoes which were custom designed for this study by adding (maximal shoe) or removing (minimal shoe) cushioning from the traditional shoe (traditional: 22mm rearfoot, 18mm forefoot; maximal: 33mm rearfoot, 29mm forefoot; minimal: 10mm rearfoot, 6mm forefoot). A repeated measures ANOVA (α = 0.05) was used to compare hip and knee kinematics (peak angles and excursions) in all three planes between shoe conditions. RESULTS: Knee flexion excursion (maximal: 25.84 ± 6.25°, minimal: 22.89 ± 6.56°, traditional: 26.71 ± 5.31°, p < 0.001) and peak hip adduction (maximal: 11.12 ± 3.85°, minimal: 10.33 ± 3.67°, traditional: 11.28 ± 3.71°, p = 0.035) were significantly lower in the minimal shoe. A trending but non-significant difference was noted for peak knee flexion (maximal: 39.48 ± 5.45°, minimal: 37.53 ± 5.91°, traditional: 39.78 ± 3.73°, p = 0.057). No other significant differences were found, including for peak knee valgus (maximal: 1.97 ± 2.83°, minimal: 1.70 ± 2.65°, traditional: 1.87 ± 2.85°, p = 0.567) and peak hip internal rotation (maximal: 5.05 ± 5.46°, minimal: 5.21 ± 3.78°, traditional: 6.14 ± 4.05°, p = 0.133). CONCLUSION: Significant differences in knee and hip kinematics were noted between shoes for knee flexion excursion and peak hip adduction. Thus, the findings of this study suggest that altering midsole stack height may influence proximal biomechanics at the hip and knee. No funding support for this study was received.

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