CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Int J Sports Med 2018; 39(02): 97-103
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-120344
Orthopedics & Biomechanics
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Foot Strike Patterns Differ Between Children and Adolescents Growing up Barefoot vs. Shod

Karsten Hollander
1   University of Hamburg, Institute of Human Movement Science, Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Hamburg, Germany
Johanna Elsabe de Villiers
2   Stellenbosch University, Department of Sport Science, Matieland, South Africa
Ranel Venter
2   Stellenbosch University, Department of Sport Science, Matieland, South Africa
Susanne Sehner
3   University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, Hamburg, Germany
Karl Wegscheider
3   University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Department of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology, Hamburg, Germany
Klaus-Michael Braumann
1   University of Hamburg, Institute of Human Movement Science, Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Hamburg, Germany
Astrid Zech
4   University of Jena, Department of Human Movement Science and Exercise Physiology, Jena, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted 05 September 2017

Publication Date:
16 November 2017 (online)


Effects of early and permanent footwear use are not well understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of habituation to footwear on foot strike patterns of children and adolescents. Healthy habitually barefoot and shod participants (aged 6–18 years) from South Africa (n=288) and Germany (n=390) performed multiple 20-m jogging and running trials with and without shoes. Each foot strike was captured using a high-speed camera to determine a rearfoot or non-rearfoot strike. The probability of a rearfoot strike in both cohorts and each age was analyzed by using a mixed-effects logistic regression adjusted for possible confounders. Habitually barefoot children showed a higher probability of using rearfoot strikes than habitually shod children (p<0.001). The probability was age-dependent and decreased in habitually barefoot children with age (ORbarefoot-jogging=0.82, 95% CI, 0.71 to 0.96, p=0.014; ORbarefoot-running=0.58, 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.67, p<0.001 and ORshod-running=0.68, 95% CI, 0.59 to 0.79, p<0.001). In habitually shod children, the probability increased significantly for shod jogging (OR=1.19, 95% CI, 1.05 to 1.35, p=0.006). To conclude, foot strike patterns of children are influenced by habituation to footwear. Younger habitually barefoot children show higher rates of rearfoot strikes for shod and barefoot running, and it converges in later adolescence.

Supplementary Material

  • References

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