Correctly identifying gait phases is a prerequisite to achieve a spatial/temporal characterization of muscular recruitment during walking. Recent approaches have addressed this issue by applying machine learning techniques to treadmill-walking data. We propose a deep learning approach for surface electromyographic (sEMG)-based classification of stance/swing phases and prediction of the foot–floor-contact signal in more natural walking conditions (similar to everyday walking ones), overcoming constraints of a controlled environment, such as treadmill walking. To this aim, sEMG signals were acquired from eight lower-limb muscles in about 10.000 strides from 23 healthy adults during level ground walking, following an eight-shaped path including natural deceleration, reversing, curve, and acceleration. By means of an extensive evaluation, we show that using a multi layer perceptron to learn hidden features provides state of the art performances while avoiding features engineering. Results, indeed, showed an average classification accuracy of
for learned subjects and
for unlearned ones, while mean absolute difference (
) between phase transitions timing predictions and footswitch data was
ms for heel-strike and toe off, respectively. The suitable performance achieved by the proposed method suggests that it could be successfully used to automatically classify gait phases and predict foot–floor-contact signal from sEMG signals during level ground walking.