• Metatarsophalangeal joint function during sprinting: A comparison of barefoot and sprint spike shod foot conditions

      Smith, Grace; Lake, Mark; Lees, Adrian; University of Chester ; Liverpool John Moores University ; Liverpool John Moores University (2013-09-13)
      The metatarsophalangeal joint is an important contributor to lower limb energetics during sprint running. This study compared the kinematics, kinetics and energetics of the metatarsophalangeal joint during sprinting barefoot and wearing standardised sprint spikes. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether standard sprinting footwear alters the natural motion and function of the metatatarsophalangeal joint exhibited during barefoot sprint running. Eight trained sprinters performed maximal sprints along a runway, four sprints in each condition. Three dimensional high speed (1000 Hz) kinematic and kinetic data were collected at the 20 m point. Joint angle, angular velocity, moment, power and energy were calculated for the metatarsophalangeal joint. Sprint spikes significantly increase sprinting velocity (0.3 m/s average increase), yet limit the range of motion about the metatarsophalangeal joint (17.9 % average reduction) and reduce peak dorsiflexion velocity (25.5 % average reduction), thus exhibiting a controlling affect over the natural behaviour of the foot. However, sprint spikes improve metatarsophalangeal joint kinetics by significantly increasing the peak metatarsophalangeal joint moment (15 % average increase) and total energy generated during the important push-off phase (0.5 J to 1.4 J). The results demonstrate substantial changes in metatarsophalangeal function and potential improvements in performance-related parameters due to footwear.