- Introduction: Research has demonstrated that minimal shoes may help prevent ankle injuries by mimicking natural barefoot running. It has been proven that minimal shoes may help adults prevent injuries in the correct conditions, but little is known about the effect of minimal and barefoot running on youth kinematics. Purpose: To determine how minimal shoes compare to barefoot and traditional shoe conditions with respect to ankle kinematics in youth. Methods: 14 male adolescent participants were recorded running while three-dimensional kinematics were measured. Sagittal and frontal plane joint angles were measured for excursion and peak angles as well as on initial contact and toe off. Results: For the frontal plane significance was found between conditions in peak eversion, frontal plane excursion, inversion at toe off, and inversion at initial contact. For the sagittal plane significance was found between conditions in peak dorsiflexion and dorsiflexion at initial contact. Conclusion: There were many similarities and some differences in ankle kinematics between minimal shoe and traditional shoe conditions while running barefoot resulted in mostly unique kinematics. This information can assist individuals and healthcare practitioners in the selection of running footwear for youth and will help build the foundation for future research on this topic.
- Key Words: Footwear, running, ankle, kinematics, motion analysis, children, minimal footwear, barefoot