Use of FitFlop could reduce risks associated with flip-flop footwear including loading rate at heel strike and frontal plane motion at the ankle during stance, according to study results.
Researchers collected kinematic, kinetic and electromyographic gait parameters while 40 participants walked through a 3-D capture volume over a force plate with the lower limbs defined using retro-reflective markers. Researchers compared ankle angle in swing, frontal plane motion in stance and force loading rates at initial contact, while statistical analysis used ANOVA to compare differences between experimental conditions.
When compared to barefoot, flip-flop footwear conditions altered gait parameters, according to study results. The flip-flop and FitFlop also had greater maximum ankle dorsiflexion in swing vs. barefoot. Terminal swing in FitFlop had a significantly higher tibialis anterior activation and there was evidence of a faster heel velocity toward the floor in the FitFlop and flip-flop compared with barefoot. Researchers found, when compared to walking in the flip-flop or barefoot, the FitFlop reduced frontal plane ankle peak eversion during stance and more effectively attenuated impact, reducing the maximal instantaneous loading rate by 19%.
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Disclosure: This research was co-funded by the Technology Strategy Board and FitFlop ltd as part of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership program. Price worked on the Knowledge Transfer Partnership program.