Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Committee Member

John A. Mercer

Number of Pages



The purpose of this study was to determine if knee and ankle kinematics during running were similar when running with bare feet and while running in a shoe designed to mimic barefoot running. Ten footfalls per subject-condition were evaluated kinematically using a 12-camera Vicon motion capture system (120 Hz) for 9 female runners (26.9 +/- 4.0 yrs, 63.7 +/- 5.9 kg, 168.0 +/- 7.5 cm) at 4 times within two 8 minute conditions (barefoot and test shoes) on a treadmill. Seven knee and ankle variables representing impact (knee angle, ankle angle, and knee angular velocity) and stance (peak knee angle, timing of peak knee angle, peak knee angular velocity, and timing of peak knee angular velocity) kinematics and three spatio-temporal variables (contact time, stride length, and stride rate) were evaluated across conditions and times. For each stance phase of a stride, knee and ankle flexion angle data were normalized to time of stance phase. A spanning set analysis was conducted using these data sets to determine the joint variability for each time-condition. These results suggest that the kinematics were similar between the test shoe and barefoot conditions. It is hypothesized that the running pattern observed while wearing the test shoe was a hybrid of barefoot and shod running styles with the difference at ground contact due to the heel cushioning of the shoe. Therefore, from this analysis of the knee and ankle kinematics, it is concluded that the Nike Free 5.0 shoes may indeed aid in any kinematic benefits that are found from barefoot running while helping protect the feet.


Barefoot; Comparison; Free; Kinematic; Nike; Running

Controlled Subject

Kinesiology; Physiology

File Format


File Size

2242.56 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have the full text removed from Digital Scholarship@UNLV, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.


IN COPYRIGHT. For more information about this rights statement, please visit