Most hiking boots are characterized by a firm construction and typically a higher shaft to protect the ankle against direct contact with the environment and ankle sprains. Little is known how variant shaft stiffness influences walking mechanics. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of different commercially available hiking boots on ankle joint loading. Fourteen subjects were walking with and one low-shaft and four different high-shaft shoes in a gait laboratory. Ground reaction forces and lower extremity kinematics were collected to extract ankle joint angles and joint power using an inverse dynamics model. Results showed significant differences between low and high shaft all high-shaft boots with some of the latter also being different. Results indicate that the shaft construction may have substantial effects on walking economy in hiking boots.
Larsen, Frederik G.; Støttrup, Nicolai; Andriëssen, Daniel; Weiler, Sarah; and Kersting, Uwe G.
"THE INFLUENCE OF SHAFT STIFFNESS ON ANKLE JOINT KINEMATICS AND KINETICS DURING WALKING IN HIKING BOOTS,"
ISBS Proceedings Archive: Vol. 35
, Article 246.
Available at: http://commons.nmu.edu/isbs/vol35/iss1/246