A-43 Free Communication/Poster - Sports Equipment: JUNE 1, 2011 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM: ROOM: Hall B
Toning shoes are marketed with promise of increased metabolic expenditure, muscle strength, and improved posture. Manufacturers have commissioned studies on toning shoes, however, alterations of gait mechanics have been largely ignored.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate kinematic variation of gait while walking with a specific toning shoe. It was hypothesized there would be significant variation in rear-foot angle, rear-foot angular velocities, foot fall angulation, and single and double-support times.
METHODS: Ten subjects (5 male, 5 female; mean age, 25.7 ± 5.1 y) were instructed to perform ten walking trials; five wearing toning shoes and five wearing control walking shoes, in a counter balanced order. Participants walked on a 20-foot GAITRite system (Havertown, PA) and were video recorded at a rear frontal plane(125 hZ) to obtain rear foot angles. Video data were digitized and analyzed using MaxTraq software (Innovision Systems; Columbiaville, MI). All data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA (α=0.05) on SPSS software (Chicago, IL) RESULTS: There was a significant change in the foot fall angle, directed sagitally (Right foot p<0.001; Left foot p=0.034) with toning shoes compared to the control shoe. While wearing toning shoes a significant decrease in time of single support (Left Foot p<0.001, Right Foot p<0.001) and a significant increase in time while in double support (p<0.001) was noted. Additionally, there were significant increases for the angular displacement and angular velocities of the rear-foot angle when wearing toning shoes (p<0.001 for both feet).
CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated that wearing these specific toning shoes significantly altered gait mechanics, and gave evidence of a more sagittal foot fall angle, which may lead to more favorable force distribution during gait. The significant change in rear-foot motion and angular velocities combined with changes in single and double support time indicated that walking with toning shoes may produce instability, which may, in turn, increase muscle activity, as claimed by the manufacturers. This change in mechanics, however, with toning shoes may also lead to pathomechanics of possible injuries in the lower extremity (e.g. Achilles tendinopathies). The results presented in this study warrant further investigation.