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Open Access Highly Accessed Research

Comparison of ankle and subtalar joint complex range of motion during barefoot walking and walking in Masai Barefoot Technology sandals

Sophie Roberts1*, Ivan Birch2 and Simon Otter3*

Author Affiliations

1 Outpatients Department, Parkside Hospital, 53 Parkside, London, SW19 5NX, UK

2 Thames Valley University, Paragon House, Boston Manor Road, Brentford, Middlesex, TW8 9GA, UK

3 University of Brighton, School of Health Sciences, 49 Darley Rd, Eastbourne, BN20 7UR, UK

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Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 2011, 4:1  doi:10.1186/1757-1146-4-1

Published: 2 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT, Switzerland) produce footwear which they claim simulate walking barefoot on soft undulating ground. This paper reports an investigation into the effect of MBT sandals on the motion of the ankle and subtalar joint complex during walking.

Methods

Range of motion data was collected in the sagittal, frontal and transverse plane from the ankle and subtalar joint complex from 32 asymptomatic subjects using the CODA MPX30 motion analysis system during both barefoot walking and walking in the MBT sandal. Shod and un-shod data were compared using the Wilcoxon signed ranks test.

Results

A significantly greater range of motion in the frontal and sagittal planes was recorded when walking in the MBT sandal (p = 0.031, and p = 0.015 respectively). In the transverse plane, no significant difference was found (p = 0.470).

Conclusions

MBT sandals increase the range of motion of the ankle and subtalar joint complex in the frontal and sagittal planes. MBT footwear could therefore have a role to play in the management of musculoskeletal disorders where an increase in frontal and sagittal plane range of motion is desirable.