@article {Adamczyk3953,
author = {Adamczyk, Peter G. and Collins, Steven H. and Kuo, Arthur D.},
title = {The advantages of a rolling foot in human walking},
volume = {209},
number = {20},
pages = {3953--3963},
year = {2006},
doi = {10.1242/jeb.02455},
publisher = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
abstract = {The plantigrade human foot rolls over the ground during each walking step, roughly analogous to a wheel. The center of pressure progresses on the ground like a wheel of radius 0.3 L (leg length). We examined the effect of varying foot curvature on the mechanics and energetics of walking. We controlled curvature by attaching rigid arc shapes of various radii to the bottoms of rigid boots restricting ankle motion. We measured mechanical work performed on the center of mass (COM), and net metabolic rate, in human subjects (N=10) walking with seven arc radii from 0.02{\textendash}0.40 m. Simple models of dynamic walking predict that redirection of COM velocity requires step-to-step transition work, decreasing quadratically with arc radius. Metabolic cost would be expected to change in proportion to mechanical work. We measured the average rate of negative work performed on the COM, and found that it followed the trend well (r2=0.95), with 2.37 times as much work for small radii as for large. Net metabolic rate (subtracting quiet standing) also decreased with increasing arc radius to a minimum at 0.3 L, with a slight increase thereafter. Maximum net metabolic rate was 6.25 W kg{\textendash}1 (for small-radius arc feet), about 59\% greater than the minimum rate of 3.93 W kg{\textendash}1, which in turn was about 45\% greater than the rate in normal walking. Metabolic rate was fit reasonably well (r2=0.86) by a quadratic curve, but exceeded that expected from COM work for extreme arc sizes. Other factors appear to increase metabolic cost for walking on very small and very large arc feet. These factors may include effort expended to stabilize the joints (especially the knee) or to maintain balance. Rolling feet with curvature 0.3 L appear energetically advantageous for plantigrade walking, partially due to decreased work for step-to-step transitions.},
issn = {0022-0949},
URL = {https://jeb.biologists.org/content/209/20/3953},
eprint = {https://jeb.biologists.org/content/209/20/3953.full.pdf},
journal = {Journal of Experimental Biology}
}