Effects of Shoe Type Sole on Kinematics, Electromyography and Metabolic Activity

Open Access
Davidson, Kiley Nicole
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Jinger S. Gottschall, Thesis Supervisor
  • Stephen Jacob Piazza, Honors Advisor
  • curved sole
  • walking
  • kinematics
  • electromyography
  • metabolic activity
Research has identified significant gait pattern changes as walking occurs on a level plane in flat sole sneakers. Prior research also highlights spatial parameter differences as speed fluctuates. Limited information, however, is known about variation in curved sole sneakers and the effect on kinematics, electromyography and metabolic activity. Recently, exercise companies have claimed that curved sole sneakers provide the individual with increased health benefits as they are said to burn more calories and shape body parts. Such sneakers would be extremely significant in the fitness realm to aid in weight loss and healthy behavior. Thus, the purpose of the experiment is to determine whether walking in curved sole sneakers significantly differs from flat sole sneakers at different speeds. I will analyze kinematic, electromyography and metabolic activity for both shoe types as individuals walk on a treadmill at 1.25mph and 1.75mph; flat sole 1.25mph walking will be used as the control. Over a period of 6 months, 7 healthy female Pennsylvania State University students participated in the study. Each participant walked on the treadmill for each of the four parameters tested; flat sole 1.25mph, flat sole 1.75mph, curved sole (toneUP) 1.25mph, curved sole (toneUP) 1.75mph. Each trial lasted seven minutes and recorded spatial temporal variables, oxygen consumption (ml•kg-1•min-1) and the eight following muscles: TA, LG, SL, PL,VM, VL, BF, GM. A seven minute standing trial also occurred to record baseline oxygen consumption data. Since little data have been researched on the fitness effects of curved sole sneakers, I based my hypothesis on the results of experiments using curved sole shoes for diabetic patients. I hypothesized that variable changes in all three parameters will occur due to the shoe formation. Kinematic parameters such as stride time, ankle width, toe width and stance time will decrease. Additionally, I hypothesize that the muscle activity of the ankle stabilizers will increase when walking in the curved sole sneakers; more specifically, the TA and PL. Furthermore, I expect the metabolic activity will increase while wearing the toneUP sneakers. While the shoes will cause differentiation in the aforesaid variables, speed alone will also create variation. I hypothesize speed will cause a significant changes in EMG data. Due to the findings of past research, I also expect metabolic data too increase as speed increases.