Females are different from males in structure and biomechanics. The foot in the female tends to have a narrower heel in relationship to the forefoot and overall is narrower than a man's foot relative to length. Females tend to pronate their feet more and have smaller Achilles tendons than males, both factors having implications for shoe fit. Although shoes have been worn for thousands of years for the main purpose of protecting feet from the environment, recent studies have implicated shoes as the principal cause of forefoot disorders seen in females. Several authors have reported the harmful effects of shoewear and the greatest factor is a shoe that is improperly fit. With respect to foot disorders in the female, the current study will explore anatomy, biomechanics, common forefoot disorders, and shoewear through the ages, athletic shoewear, and a toe strengthening program.
"Changes in footwear from narrow fitting shoes to a broader walker style have shown to reduce the incidence of foot pain . Education on the ill-effects of tight fitting footwear is poor and research indicates that footwear in the younger population is influenced by fashion and colour [29,30]. Footwear choice in young females is determined by the activity that is planned with high heels being chosen for socialising, boots for warmth and flat ballet pumps for school . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ill-fitting footwear can be detrimental to foot health with the forefoot being an area for most discomfort. Studies on footwear have primarily examined sports or orthopaedic prescription shoes and little is known about the effects that everyday flat shoes have on the forefoot. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of toe box shape in a popular slip-on pump on dorsal and plantar pressures with particular interest around the forefoot in a healthy female population.
A convenience sample of 27 female participants with no known foot pathologies was recruited. After assessment of foot size, plantar foot pressure and interdigital pressures were recorded for each of the 3 different toe box styles; round, square and pointed. Participants walked at a self-selected speed over a 10 m walkway whilst wearing each of the 3 styles of shoe and also whilst barefoot. Processed and analysed data extracted included peak pressure, time to peak pressure, contact time and pressure time integral. ANOVA and Freidman analysis was used to test for statistical significance.
Shoes with a round toe showed least pressure around the medial aspect of the toes whilst the pointed shoe had least pressure on the lateral toes. Contact times for the plantar regions were not altered in any shoe condition yet contact around the medial aspect of the toes was highest in the pointed shoe.
This study highlights that the shape of the toe box in footwear can significantly influence the amount of pressure applied to the forefoot. Furthermore, the contours of the shoe also have an impact on the contact time and pressure time integral around the forefoot and also the peak plantar pressure in the toe region. The changes observed could be significant in the development of pathology in certain footwear toe box shapes. Consideration should be given to footwear design around the toe box to improve fit and reduce pressure. Further work is required to investigate the effect of toe box shape and volume on a pathological population with pressure related lesions.
Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 07/2013; 6(1):28. DOI:10.1186/1757-1146-6-28 · 1.46 Impact Factor
"While the specific shoe model and its size differences used in this study could affect the reliability of these fit variables due to their generic design or minimal structural and material variations, there are other aspects that could explain these findings. Firstly, the athletes can lace the shoes for a custom fit (Frey 2000), therefore the flexibility of the lacing structures for accommodating the size differences of the test shoes in the corresponding regions of interest may have overshadowed the actual dimension differences. In order to evaluate properly the relative contribution of lacing procedures for reliability of fit perception, standardised lacing procedures might be considered (Hagen and Hennig 2009, Hagen et al. 2011). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose: This study evaluated the efficacy and reliability of basketball footwear fit perception, testing protocols of different complexity.Methods: Three fit perception protocols of different complexity were applied: a) Basketball Specific Course (BSC), b) Basic Course and c) Step-In. Three test shoe conditions using an identical basketball shoe model with half a size larger (large), matched size (medium) and half a size smaller (small) according to participants’ individual foot size were used. Twenty-nine university basketball players provided their perception scores of twelve fit variables. Perception scores were analysed by Friedman and Wilcoxon tests. Significance level was set at p Results: All protocols demonstrated perception scores corresponding to the actual dimensions of larger and smaller shoes. The Step-In protocol allowed the best shoe differentiation. The Step-In and the Basic Course protocols showed substantial inter-day reliability (ICC > 0.6 to 0.8) for six out of twelve fit variables. In contrast, the BSC protocol showed substantial inter-day reliability for only one out of twelve fit variables. Perception ratings of collar girth, rearfoot width, heel counter, midfoot width, and midfoot girth did not show substantial inter-day reliability in any of the protocols.Conclusion: Less complex fit perception protocols were found to be more reliable compared to a more complex protocol. Several fit variables evaluated for the heel and the midfoot did not show substantial reliability in any of the perception protocols, indicating that those variables may not be measured subjectively with consistent outcomes or that alternative variable-specific testing protocols are warranted.
"While the specific shoe model and its size differences used in this study could affect the reliability of these fit variables due to their generic design or minimal structural and material variations , there are other aspects that could explain these findings . Firstly , the athletes can lace the shoes for a custom fit ( Frey 2000 ) , therefore the flexibility of the lacing structures for accom - modating the size differences of the test shoes in the cor - responding regions of interest may have overshadowed the actual dimension differences . In order to evaluate properly the relative contribution of lacing procedures for reliability of fit perception , standardised lacing procedures might be considered ( Hagen and Hennig 2009 , Hagen et al . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study introduces a method for evaluating fit and comfort perception of basketball footwear by using a basketball specific course (BSC) and to examine respective inter-day reliability.Methods: The BSC incorporated a sequence of acceleration, deceleration, lateral shuffling, lay-up, backward running, jumping, and landing movements. Nineteen university basketball players provided their perception scores of four fit and seven comfort items after going through the BSC. Six footwear conditions were counterbalanced. Perception scores were analysed by repeated measures ANOVAs (comfort) or Friedman tests (fit) as VAS and Likert scales were applied. Significance level was set at p 0.80) while the others showed moderate reliability (ICC, 0.41 to 0.6).Conclusion: Differences in basketball footwear fit and comfort perception were identified when performing the BSC testing protocol. The current protocol demonstrated substantial reliability for evaluating comfort perception but only moderate reliability for evaluating fit perception in most cases, indicating that distinct testing protocols for comfort and fit perception need to be considered for respective testing.
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