Recently, barefoot running versus shod running (with shoes) has received a significant amount of attention due to variances found in ground reaction forces (GRF) between the two conditions. However, a recent meta-analysis states that there is limited research showing biomechanical differences between barefoot versus shod running. Others believe running without shoes produces lower GRFs and result in less traumatic impact and stress on the joints of the lower extremity. Analyzing and understanding these GRF differences can help researchers, physical trainers, athletes, etc., to recognize potential benefits and risks that different running styles have on the human body. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in GRFs between barefoot and shod running, focusing on the peak vertical impact forces (first peak) during running. METHODS: Subjects included 7 female and 5 male physically active participants between the ages of 21-36y. Each subject was instructed to jog at a medium-fast, constant, self-selected pace approximately 6 m over two force plates (AMTI, 1500 Hz) while GRF’s were recorded for the left foot. Peak vertical impact force for two to three trials were averaged for each condition, barefoot and while wearing the subject’s own running shoes. A dependent t-test (SPSS v. 22) was used to test mean differences between conditions at p<0.05. RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the peak impact force between barefoot (1245.03 +/- 545.0 N) and shod running (1331.8 +/- 567.4 N; p>0.05). CONCLUSION: This study failed to show a significant difference between peak vertical impact forces during barefoot and shod running. Future research is needed for this study with a larger sample size, perhaps looking at the differences in GRFs in subjects who habitually run barefoot versus those who do not.

This document is currently not available here.