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Eight weeks gait retraining in minimalist footwear has no effect on running economy.


Joseph Warne, Kieran Moran, Giles Warrington

Publication Type: 
Refereed Original Article
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects of an eight week combined minimalist footwear (MFW) and gait-retraining intervention on running economy (RE) and kinematics in conventional footwear runners. METHODS: Twenty-three trained male runners (age: 43 ± 10 years, stature: 177.2 ± 9.2 cm, body mass: 72.8 ± 10.2 kg, V̇O2max: 56.5 ± 7.0 mL min(-1) kg(-1)) were recruited. Participants were assigned to either an intervention group (n = 13) who gradually increased exposure to MFW and also implemented gait-retraining over an eight week period. RE and kinematics were measured in both MFW and conventional running shoes (CRS) at pre-tests and eight weeks, in a random order. In contrast the control group (n = 10) had no MFW exposure or gait retraining and were only tested in CRS. RESULTS: The MFW and gait re-training intervention had no effect on RE (p < .001). However, RE was significantly better in MFW (mean difference 2.72%; p = .002) at both pre and post-tests compared to CRS. Step frequency increased as a result of the intervention (+5.7 steps per minute [spm]; p < .001), and was also significantly higher in MFW vs. CRS (+7.5 spm; p < .001). CONCLUSION: Whilst a better RE in MFW was observed when compared to CRS due to shoe mass, familiarization to MFW with gait-retraining was not found to influence RE.
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): 
Publication Status: 
Date Accepted for Publication: 
Tuesday, 2 June, 2015
Publication Date: 
Human Movement Science
Research Group: 
Dublin City University (DCU)
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