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Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Brian Caster

Abstract

Minimalist footwear is a current trend that has many purported benefits and advantages to running. These claims arise from the idea that this type of footwear is designed to mimic barefoot running by featuring low cushion and negligible arch support. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether this type of footwear could be beneficial in other ballistic activities such as landing. The study included ten participants with an inclusion of five males and five females of various movement backgrounds. The participants conducted twelve trials in two footwear conditions on a force platform. The first condition was a self-selected athletic footwear and the other was the minimalist footwear. The force variable results were inconclusive but statistical significance was found from kinematic analysis in three areas (ankle angle, foot inclination, and ankle ROM) at two contact points (heel contact and maximum knee flexion) during the landings. Ultimately, this complex activity is dependent on many variables and more future studies are needed in order to state whether minimalist footwear can be beneficial in the reduction of injuries during ballistic activities.

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