INFLUENCE OF FOOTWEAR ON FOOT SENSITIVITY: A COMPARISON BETWEEN BAREFOOT AND SHOD SPORTS

  • Günther Schlee
  • Thorsten Sterzing
  • Thomas L. Milani
Keywords: footwear, barefoot, plantar foot, vibration thresholds, sports

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare the vibration thresholds of the sensor of the plantar foot between athletes that practice sport with shoes and athletes that practice sport without shoes. Fourty female subjects were divided in two groups: Shod group (SG) with 20 volleyball players and barefoot group (BG) with 20 gymnasts. Vibration thresholds were measured by the use of a vibration exciter at five points of the foot sole: Heel; Midfoot; Metatarsal Head I; Metatarsal Head V and Hallux. The amplitude of the vibration stimulus was raised until it could be perceived by the subjects, which responded with a verbal sign. The amplitude read at the verbal sign was taken as the vibration threshold. The results show significantly lower vibration threshold values for the BG (p< 0.001) when calculating the mean values of the five foot points. The vibration thresholds measured at each of the five selected foot points were lower for the BG in comparison with the SG. However those differences were not statistically significant. The results indicate that the higher vibration sensitivity at the plantar foot for the BG may be explained by the sport practice without footwear as well as by the technical demands of the sport.
Published
2007-12-12
Section
Equipment / Instrumentation