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The impact of standardized footwear on load and load symmetry

      Highlights

      • Load outcomes are comparable between standardized and non-standardized footwear.
      • Load symmetry outcomes for bilateral tasks are comparable between standardized and non-standardized footwear.
      • The load analysis program could assist with load analysis in clinical settings.

      Abstract

      Background

      The inability to standardize footwear is a potential issue when measuring landing kinetics in non-laboratory settings. This study determined the impact of not standardizing footwear on load and load symmetry during landing. A secondary purpose of this study was to introduce the Load Analysis Program, an open-source MATLAB® user-interface for computing kinetic and kinetic symmetry from data collected using loadsol® sensors.

      Methods

      Forty uninjured participants completed bilateral and unilateral landing tasks in their own preferred athletic footwear and in laboratory-standardized footwear. Peak impact force, impulse, and a limb symmetry index of both kinetic outcomes were computed using loadsol® sensors (200 Hz) for both footwear conditions, and compared between footwear conditions using intraclass correlation coefficients and Bland-Altman plots.

      Findings

      The agreement between the preferred and standardized conditions was good to excellent for peak impact force, peak impact force limb symmetry index, and impulse limb symmetry index during the bilateral task (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.870–0.951). The agreement was moderate to poor for unilateral limb symmetry index measures (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.399–0.516). During the preferred footwear condition, impulse was greater for the left limb during bilateral landing, and peak impact force during unilateral landing on the right limb was decreased, when compared to the standardized footwear condition (p < 0.05).

      Interpretation

      These results suggest that while not standardizing footwear can alter the results of certain load metrics, laboratory-relevant landing mechanics information can be obtained with participants wearing their own footwear.

      Keywords

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