Due to the recent rise in the use of lower-limb exoskeletons as an alternative for gait rehabilitation, gait phase detection has become an increasingly important feature in the control of these devices. In addition, highly functional, low-cost recovery devices are needed in developing countries, since limited budgets are allocated specifically for biomedical advances. To achieve this goal, this paper presents two gait phase partitioning algorithms that use motion data from a single inertial measurement unit (IMU) placed on the foot instep. For these data, sagittal angular velocity and linear acceleration signals were extracted from nine healthy subjects and nine pathological subjects. Pressure patterns from force sensitive resistors (FSR) instrumented on a custom insole were used as reference values. The performance of a threshold-based (TB) algorithm and a hidden Markov model (HMM) based algorithm, trained by means of subject-specific and standardized parameters approaches, were compared during treadmill walking tasks in terms of timing errors and the goodness index. The findings indicate that HMM outperforms TB for this hardware configuration. In addition, the HMM-based classifier trained by an intra-subject approach showed excellent reliability for the evaluation of mean time, i.e., its intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) was greater than 0 . 75 . In conclusion, the HMM-based method proposed here can be implemented for gait phase recognition, such as to evaluate gait variability in patients and to control robotic orthoses for lower-limb rehabilitation.