Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Gary Schindler


Trial, Navicular Drop, Pelvic Movement, Rearfoot Strike Pattern (RFSP), VICON Motion Analysis


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. The effects of rearfoot strike pattern (RFSP) versus a forefoot strike pattern (FFSP) in determining the 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 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. This study implemented a one-day session of five different gait analysis: walking barefoot, running normal (RFSP) barefoot, running on toes (FFSP) barefoot, walking shot, and running shod. 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. Decreased pelvic drop could support the effects of walking or running barefoot to reduce the amount of injuries to the hip, knee, and down the kinematic chain.

Results: The data collected from the VICON motion analysis indicated minimal statistical significant evidence supporting that the navicular and pelvis move less with barefoot running and walking in comparison to shod walking. Statistically significant data was found when comparing navicular drop in walking barefoot to running barefoot on the right foot only. Walking barefoot compared to walking shod showed to be statistically significant for pelvic drop on the right.

Discussion: Although not all of the data was statistically significant, the trend with the data does support that navicular and pelvic drop is reduced with barefoot motions in comparison to shod. The clinical significance associated with these results identify the potential to reduce running injuries by correcting overpronation and creating a proper force distribution through the lower extremity. Due to the limitations of this study (small sample size, narrow population, and the 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