Oxygen Uptake and Energy Expenditure during Treadmill Walking with Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) Shoes
[Purpose] It is suggested that walking with Masai Barefoot Technology (MBT) shoes will increase oxygen uptake and result in greater consumption of energy relative to walking with conventional shoes, but this has not been sufficiently investigated. [Methods] To examine this supposition, ten subjects walked on a treadmill with different types of shoes (jogging or MBT shoes), treadmill inclinations (zero or 10 % inclination) and walking speeds (i.e. self-selected walking speed or fast walking speed). Oxygen uptake, heart rate, lung ventilation, ratings of perceived exertion and energy expenditure were measured during all walking conditions by a stationary metabolic cart. [Results] On a flat treadmill at self-selected and fast walking speeds, physiological responses were similar for jogging and MBT shoes. In contrast, fast uphill walking with MBT shoes significantly increased oxygen uptake by about 5% relative to jogging shoes. The calculated energy expenditure for 60 minutes of fast, uphill walking was about 6% higher when using MBT shoes. [Conclusion] The magnitude of increases in oxygen uptake and energy expenditure when using MBT shoes were quite small, and the clinical relevance regarding reductions in body weight may be negligible.