Ground reaction force differences between bionic shoes and neutral running shoes in recreational male runners before and after a 5 km run

Xinyan Jiang, Huiyu Zhou, Wenjing Quan, Qiuli Hu*, Julien S. Baker, Yaodong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
68 Downloads (Pure)


Running-related injuries are common among runners. Recent studies in footwear have shown that designs of shoes can potentially affect sports performance and risk of injury. Bionic shoes combine the functions of barefoot running and foot protection and incorporate traditional unstable structures based on bionic science. The purpose of this study was to investigate ground reaction force (GRF) differences for a 5 km run and how bionic shoes affect GRFs. Sixteen male recreational runners volunteered to participate in this study and finished two 5 km running sessions (a neutral shoe session and a bionic shoe session). Two-way repeated-measures ANOVAs were performed to determine the differences in GRFs. In the analysis of the footwear conditions of runners, bionic shoes showed significant decreases in vertical impulse, peak propulsive force, propulsive impulse, and contact time, while the braking impulse and vertical instantaneous loading rate (VILR) increased significantly compared to the neutral shoes. Main effects for a 5 km run were also observed at vertical GRFs and anterior–posterior GRFs. The increases of peak vertical impact force, vertical average loading rate (VALR), VILR, peak braking force and braking impulse were observed in post-5 km running trials and a reduction in peak propulsive force and propulsive impulse. The interaction effects existed in VILR and contact time. The results suggest that bionic shoes may benefit runners with decreasing injury risk during running. The findings of the present study may help to understand the effects of footwear design during prolonged running, thereby providing valuable information for reducing the risk of running injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9787
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021


  • bionic science
  • footwear
  • ground reaction force
  • prolonged running


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