Influence of minimalist shoes on lower-limb overuse injuries risk in children

  • Herbaut Alexis
  • Roux M.
  • Gueguen N.
  • Barbier Franck
  • Simoneau-Buessinger Emilie
  • Chavet P.
  • Rozenblat M.

  • Sever's disease
  • Calcaneal apophysitis
  • Osgood-Schlatter disease
  • Shoe drop
  • Biomechanics


Objective. - The objective of this review was to examine the influence of minimalist shoes on the running biomechanics of children and to establish a theoretical analysis of the influence of this type of shoes on the injury risk. News. - Between 8 and 15 years old, repeated stress induced by the regular practice of sports and growth spurts experienced by active children make them prone to overuse injuries. The most common for the lower body are Osgood-Schlatter and Sever's disease. The first link between the body and the ground being footwear, the latter can be of primary importance in the occurrence of these pathologies. It was suggested that the use of minimalist shoes would modify the running biomechanics and thus potentially the injury risk. Prospects and projects. - Further investigations are needed to identify whether, over time, children adapt or not their behaviour to the use of minimalist shoes and whether the wearing of this type of shoes influences the overuse injuries risk. Conclusion. - Compared with conventional shoes, the use of minimalist shoes generally induces a flatter foot placement, with a more plantar-flexed ankle at ground contact and less knee flexion during stance phase. It seems that these modifications lead to a reduction of tensile forces at the knee and may decrease the risk of Osgood-Schlatter disease. Concerning Sever's disease, the biomechanical analysis was not conclusive due to the complexity of its patho-mechanics. The wearing of minimalist shoes should decrease heel compressive forces through a pressure redistribution under the whole plantar surface or under the forefoot but may in counterpart increase tensile forces at the Achilles tendon insertion site onto the calcaneus. (C) 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.