Magnitude and spatial distribution of impact intensity under the foot relates to initial foot contact pattern

Bastiaan Breine, Philippe Malcolm, Veerle Segers, Joeri Gerlo, Rud Derie, Todd Pataky, Edward C. Frederick, Dirk De Clercq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In running, foot contact patterns (rear-, mid-, or forefoot contact) influence impact intensity and initial ankle and foot kinematics. The aim of the study was to compare impact intensity and its spatial distribution under the foot between different foot contact patterns. Forty-nine subjects ran at 3.2 m·s-1 over a level runway while ground reaction forces (GRF) and shoe-surface pressures were recorded and foot contact pattern was determined. A 4-zone footmask (forefoot, midfoot, medial and lateral rearfoot) assessed the spatial distribution of the vertical GRF under the foot. We calculated peak vertical instantaneous loading rate of the GRF (VILR) per foot zone as the impact intensity measure. Midfoot contact patterns were shown to have the lowest, and atypical rearfoot contact patterns the highest impact intensities, respectively. The greatest local impact intensity was mainly situated under the rear- and midfoot for the typical rearfoot contact patterns, under the midfoot for the atypical rearfoot contact patterns, and under the mid- and forefoot for the midfoot contact patterns. These findings indicate that different foot contact patterns could benefit from cushioning in different shoe zones.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)431-436
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied biomechanics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Foot strike
  • Footwear
  • Force
  • Impact
  • Plantar pressure
  • Running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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