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This study analyzed changes and bilateral asymmetries in Foot Strike Pattern (FSP). Twenty-eight subjects were divided into Barefoot Group (BFGr) (n=16) and Shod Group (SHGr) (n=12), evaluated before (Baseline) and after running for 20 min at 3.1 m·s−1 (Post 20min Running), and at the end of an 8-week running training protocol (Post 8-week Training). Plantar pressures were obtained to calculate Strike Index (SI). Only condition factor (SHGr/BFGr) resulted in significative effect (F=52.45, p=0.00, ƞ2p =0.67). The number of subjects with Forefoot Strike (FFS) and Midfoot Strike (MFS) was always higher in BFGr than SHGr. This difference was higher in Post 20min Running, where BFGr outperformed SHGr by 46 percentage points. BFGr doubled the percentage of asymmetric subjects in Post 20min Running (25% in Baseline to 50% in 20min Running) and returned to Baseline’s value in Post 8-week Training. The shift of FSP towards MFS or FFS and the increase of asymmetries are immediate adaptations caused by barefoot running. However, a training protocol of 8-weeks does not produce maintenance of these modifications.

World Athletics Award