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Distribution of shoe sizes for men ( n 1⁄4 158) and women ( n 1⁄4 154). 

Distribution of shoe sizes for men ( n 1⁄4 158) and women ( n 1⁄4 154). 

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Foot problems and deformities, which are highly prevalent in older people, may affect foot anthropometrics and result in older people having difficulty finding shoes that fit. This study aimed to characterise the dimensions and shape of the feet of older people and to determine whether foot anthropometrics were influenced by gender and/or the prese...

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... presence of any lesser toe deformities, such as claw or hammer toes, and participants were asked whether they suffered from, or had been diagnosed with, swollen or flat feet. prevalence of any of these foot problems differed according to gender, a series of Chi-square analyses were conducted. An alpha of 0.05 was selected as the level of significance for all statistical analyses, which were conducted using SPSS 15 for Windows (SPSS Inc., Chicago, IL, USA). The distribution of shoe sizes for the men and women is illustrated in Figure 3. Shoe size for the women ranged from a US 4.5C to 13B, whereas the men ranged from an 8.5D to larger than a 14.5. The largest size that could be measured with the Brannock device was a man’s 14.5, with five of the men’s feet exceeding this value. Statistical analysis was conducted on data obtained for the right foot of each participant to ensure the assumption of data independence was met (Menz 2004). Independent t -tests were used to assess for any differences in absolute or normalised foot anthropometrics between men and women. Normalised foot anthropometrics were then entered into a stepwise discriminant function analysis to determine which variables were the most important in discriminating between the two genders. Independent t -tests were also used to determine any differences in normalised foot anthropometrics in those participants with specific foot problems (hallux valgus, toe deformities, swollen feet and flat feet) by comparing each of these four groups to those participants without any of the above men- tioned foot problems. In order to establish whether the Each of the 17 measured foot dimensions significantly differed between the two genders. Men recorded significantly larger values than the women for all dimensions with the exception of first toe and heel bone angles, whereby women had significantly larger angles (increased by 21.6 and 46.5%, respectively). As male participants had significantly longer feet (268.3 Æ 13.1 mm) than their female counterparts (245.7 Æ 13.5 mm; p 5 0.001), direct comparison of the absolute foot measurements were conducted for men and women whose foot length measured between 250– 256 and 257–262 mm (see Table 2). These two foot length categories corresponded with European shoe sizes 38 and 39, respectively (Krauss et al . 2008), and were the only two foot length categories with sufficient men and women to enable a valid statistical between- gender comparison. For the given foot length categories, men typically displayed great widths, heights and circumferences than the women, although the length measures did not differ between the genders (see Table 2). When foot dimensions, excluding angles, were normalised to foot length and averaged across all foot sizes, women had significantly lower first and fifth toe heights (7.4 and 5.5%, respectively) and a significantly longer medial ball length (1%; p 5 0.05) than their male counterparts. The stepwise discriminant function analysis identified first toe height, first toe angle, fifth toe angle, ball of foot height, medial ball length and instep circumference (in order of importance) to be associated with gender ( Ã 1⁄4 0.771; p 5 0.001). Fourteen percent ( n 1⁄4 43) of the participants reported that they suffered from swollen feet and 9% ( n 1⁄4 28) indicated that they had flat feet. Assessment of the participants’ feet revealed that 12% ( n 1⁄4 37) had moderate-to-severe hallux valgus and 25% ( n 1⁄4 78) had a lesser toe deformity. Fifty-four percent of the participants ( n 1⁄4 162) did not display any of these four foot problems and were therefore used as the comparison group. The only foot problem associated with gender was the presence of lesser toe deformity, whereby men had a higher incidence (30%) than women (19.5%; 2 1⁄4 4.4; p 1⁄4 0.02). When the foot dimensions were pooled for gender, older individuals who were identified as having moderate-to-severe hallux valgus, lesser toe deformities, swollen or flat feet had significantly different foot anthropometrics compared to those without any foot problems (see Table 3). Despite the world’s population ageing, this is the first study to comprehensively evaluate the foot shape of older adults living in Australia. Furthermore, it repre- sents one of the largest databases of foot anthropometrics for people aged over 60 years. Although similar measurements have been conducted on 213 Thai men and women aged 60–80 years (Chaiwanichsiri et al . 2008) and 268 Japanese men and women aged 56–81 years (Kouchi 2003), other reported studies investigat- ing foot dimensions of older individuals are ...

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