‘True cadence’ is the rate of stepping during the period of stepping. ‘Step accumulation’ is the steps within an epoch of time (e.g. 1 min). These terms have been used interchangeably in the literature. These outcomes are compared within a population with intermittent claudication (IC). Multiday, 24 h stepping activity of those with IC (30) and controls (30) was measured objectively using the activPAL physical activity monitor. ‘True cadence’ and ‘step accumulation’ outcomes were calculated. Those with IC took fewer steps/d 6531 ± 2712 than controls 8692 ± 2945 (P = 0.003). However, these steps were taken within approximately the same number of minute epochs (IC 301 ± 100 min/d; controls 300 ± 70 min/d, P = 0.894) with only slightly lower true cadence (IC 69 (IQ 66,72) steps/min; controls 72 (IQ 68,76) steps/min, P = 0.026), giving substantially lower step accumulation (IC 22 (IQ 19,24) steps/min; controls 30 (IQ 23,34) steps/min) (P < 0.001). However, the true cadence of stepping within the blocks of the 1, 5, 20, 30 and 60 min with the maximum number of steps accumulated was lower for those with IC than controls (P < 0.05). Those with IC took 1300 steps fewer per day above a true cadence of 90 steps/min. True cadence and step accumulation outcomes were radically different for the outcomes examined. ‘True cadence’ and ‘step accumulation’ were not equivalent in those with IC or controls. The measurement of true cadence in the population of people with IC provides information about their stepping rate during the time they are stepping. True cadence should be used to correctly describe the rate of stepping as performed.