Minimalist shoes running intervention can alter the plantar loading

Minimalist shoes running intervention can alter the plantar loading

Hallux valgus (HV) is one of the most common deformities to the human foot [1]. A wider forefoot is exhibited through a lateral devia- tion (abduction) of the hallux with a corresponding medial deviation (adduction) of thefirst metatarsal (M1). Deformity disrupts the normal straight alignment of thefirst metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint [2]. The Hallux valgus angle (HVA) is quantified by the angle between thefirst metatarsal and proximal phalanx [3]. The deformity is defined as mild, moderate and severe as the HVA increases from 15°20° to 20°40° and above 40° [4,5], with mild and moderate HV representing over 90% of all HV cases.

HV may influence foot morphology and biomechanics performance, which would induce foot dysfunction, gait deviations, and eventually impaired quality of life [6]. Other symptoms, such as metatarsalgia, plantar callosities, hammer toe deformities are commonly observed in patients with severe HV [7,8]. Additional reasons for HV deformity include genetic predisposition, high-heeled shoes and other ill-fitted shoes, particularly footwear with constrictive toe-box [9,10,6,1113].

Studies found that subjects with HV changed plantar pressure at the forefoot region, especially in thefirst metatarsal and proximal phalanx [14,15]. Barefoot walking is beneficial for the natural development of foot morphology due to non-restrictive conditions. It was shown that barefoot walking enabled the foot to achieve its biologicallynormalmorphology and functional performance [10]. Barefoot running or running with minimalist footwear was previously found to increase both intrinsic and extrinsic muscular foot strength and generation of more tactile contact forces [10,1618]. Changes of plantar pressure in the forefoot region while running with a minimalist shoe has previously been reported [19]. However, no study has been conducted to ascertain what effect minimalist shoes running have on the foot morphology and biomechanical performance in mild and moderate hallux valgus po- pulations through a systematically long-term intervention. Therefore, minimalist running shoes were chosen and a running intervention was proposed to measure the foot morphology deformation and plantar pressure distribution alteration. The HVA was measured via x-ray scanning and basic foot anthropometric parameters were chosen to il- lustrate the foot morphology changes.

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