Bare Feet in Medicine


  • Alex Stacoff, Jürg Steger, Edgar Stüssi, and Christoph Reinschmidt. "Lateral stability in sideward cutting movements," Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 28(3), 1996, pp. 350-358.

    With respect to leverage, the barefoot situation has an advantage over the shod situation. The shoe sole increases the lever arm and as a consequence the moment about the subtalar joint.
    ...
    All other shoes had one result in common: torsion increased from touchdown to maximum, which, given similar forefoot angles, is equivalent to an inversion moment of the rearfoot relative to the forefoot. Such a movement is not welcomed to improve the lateral stability.
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    When looking at the forefoot, there are two different landing techniques that can be observed. Barefooted "the flat-foot approach" is chosen by lowering the metatarsals parallel to the ground. With shoes the medial border of the forefoot touches the ground first causing a forefoot angle of around 20°. Within a time span of 40 ms the forefoot is then lowered toward the ground thereby rolling over the medial border of the shoe sole. In other words, a "rolling approach" can be observed with shoes.
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    Inversion is mostly reduced in the barefoot condition.
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    The best lateral stability can be observed in the barefoot condition.