Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Gary Schindler


Biomechanical Phenomena; Running -- physiology


Background and Purpose: Gaining knowledge of the change in navicular drop of the foot and pelvic movement in response to barefoot running training may allow sports medicine professionals, coaches, athletes, and others in the healthcare field to decrease the amount of injuries that may be caused by these motions. Effects of a running training program with conversion from a rearfoot strike pattern (RFSP) to forefoot strike pattern (FFSP) to determine impact on navicular drop and pelvic movement is lacking in literature. Due to the increased correlation of hip movement and lower extremity injuries, the purpose of this study was to determine if barefoot running training, with a FFSP compared to shod running using a RFSP, would affect the amount of drop during walking and running activities.

Material/Methods: Navicular and pelvic movement was analyzed between shod and barefoot running groups by utilizing the VICON motion analysis system and the static navicular drop test before and after the six-week running program. This study implemented a six-week training program to convert from a RFSP to FFSP in the barefoot running group when compared to the controlled shod group. The VICON was specifically used to evaluate the pelvic movement and navicular drop of the foot during the stance phase of gait in walking and running. A decrease in navicular distance traveled from pre- to post-test, may suggest a decrease in dynamic foot over-pronation. This result could support the effects of barefoot running with a FFSP, as a method for reducing pain and injuries associated with running.

Results: Results showed no statistical significance in the Standard Navicular Drop Test. There were no statistically significant differences using the VICON Motion Analysis for assessing dynamic navicular drop or pelvic movement in Barefoot Walking (BW) and Running Barefoot with a forefoot strike pattern (BR). However, trends indicated that post 6 week training the barefoot training group showed decreased navicular drop and decreased pelvic movement in comparison to the shod training group.

Discussion: Barefoot running training did not illustrate statistically significant improvement in navicular drop or pelvic drop movement during this study. Data showed that navicular drop presented a trend towards having less movement during barefoot running and barefoot walking post training program in comparison to the shod running group. Due to the limitations of this study (small sample size, narrow population, limited time spent barefoot running training, and specifics of the VICON motion analysis process) future research could address these limitations through conducting an ongoing study and/or open it to the public to improve subject population.