Minimalist style boot improves running but not walking economy in trained men

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© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This study examined movement economy under load with 1000 g minimalist (MIN) vs. 1600 g traditional (TRD) style boots. Fourteen trained, male participants completed a VO2peak test (46.6 ± 7.3 ml/kg/min) while wearing a 16 kg external load. Treadmill speeds for the running economy (RE) trials were determined by the slowest pace in which participants completed a full stage with a running gait pattern during the VO2peak test. Walking economy (WE) pace was 1.6 km/h slower than RE pace. During the second session, participants completed 5-min exercise bouts at WE and RE pace under load wearing MIN and TRD. There were no differences for any measured variables during WE trials. In contrast, RE (MIN = 2.95 ± 0.28 vs. TRD = 3.04 ± 0.30 L/min; p =.003: Cohen’s d = 0.32), respiratory exchange ratio (p '.001), and perceptual measures (p '.05) were all improved while wearing MIN. Practitioner summary: In trained men, 1000 g/pair minimalist style boots (MIN) resulted in improvements of approximately 3% and 5% for running economy and respiratory exchange ratio versus 1600 g/pair traditional boots while wearing a 16 kg kit. Perceptual responses, including comfort, also favoured MIN. These effects were not found at walking pace. Abbreviations: MIN: minimalist style boots; TRD: traditional style boots; RE: running economy; WE: walking economy; ES: effect size; RER: respiratory exchange ratio; HR: heart rate.



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