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Physiological Versus Perceived Foot Temperature, and Perceived Comfort, during Treadmill Running in Shoes and Socks of Various Constructions

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The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether people could accurately perceive physiological foot temperature during brief bouts of treadmill running in different combinations of shoe and sock models, and also how perception of comfort was influenced. Sixteen young adult males (21.3  0.8 years, 181.8  1 cm, 74.6  1.5 kg) participated in two separate studies where they alternated running and resting for 10 min each with temperature probes attached at two sites on the lateral dorsal aspect of the right foot. Subjects reported perceptions of foot comfort and temperature after each run using 10 cm visual analogue scales. In the first experiment, different sock models were tested with the same shoe model; in the second experiment, different shoe models were tested with the same sock model. Foot temperature did not differ statistically as a function of shoe or sock model in either experiment. Subjects did not perceive any difference in foot temperature in the shoe experiment, but perceived their foot as being cooler when wearing either a polyester sock or a calf compression sleeve and more comfortable when wearing shoes with less mass. Taken together, the results suggest that subjects’ perceptions of foot temperature may not coincide with physiological foot temperature and are more strongly influenced by sock characteristics than shoe characteristics. Further, shoe mass (but not sock fiber weave or composition) may impact comfort perception by subjects.
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AMERICAN JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH VOL. 10, NO. 3 (2011)
7
Physiological Versus Perceived Foot
Temperature, and Perceived Comfort, during
Treadmill Running in Shoes and Socks of Various
Constructions
Rachel M. Barkley, Mike R. Bumgarner, and Erin M. Poss
Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology Program
Drake University
Des Moines, Iowa 50311 USA
David S. Senchina*
Biology Department
Drake University
Des Moines, Iowa 50311 USA
Received: September 11, 2011 Accepted: November 1, 2011
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether people could accurately perceive
physiological foot temperature during brief bouts of treadmill running in different combinations of
shoe and sock models, and also how perception of comfort was influenced. Sixteen young adult
males (21.3 0.8 years, 181.8 1 cm, 74.6 1.5 kg) participated in two separate studies where
they alternated running and resting for 10 min each with temperature probes attached at two sites
on the lateral dorsal aspect of the right foot. Subjects reported perceptions of foot comfort and
temperature after each run using 10 cm visual analogue scales. In the first experiment, different
sock models were tested with the same shoe model; in the second experiment, different shoe
models were tested with the same sock model. Foot temperature did not differ statistically as a
function of shoe or sock model in either experiment. Subjects did not perceive any difference in
foot temperature in the shoe experiment, but perceived their foot as being cooler when wearing
either a polyester sock or a calf compression sleeve and more comfortable when wearing shoes
with less mass. Taken together, the results suggest that subjects’ perceptions of foot
temperature may not coincide with physiological foot temperature and are more strongly
influenced by sock characteristics than shoe characteristics. Further, shoe mass (but not sock
fiber weave or composition) may impact comfort perception by subjects.
I. INTRODUCTION
When shopping for footwear,
runners face hundreds of options that differ
structurally, functionally, and cosmetically.
Runners should select shoes that are
designed for their foot architecture, gait
mechanics, and intended training patterns
because such selections will minimize injury
risk and maximize performance potential [1].
One factor especially important for distance
runners is how well a sock or shoe
dissipates heat, primarily through sweat
convection. Heat dissipation is important
not only for maintaining appropriate heat
dynamics during running but also from a
comfort standpoint.
The sock is critical for maintaining
foot climate because it wicks sweat from the
foot to the shoe upper for evaporation.
* Author for correspondence (DSS):
2507 University Ave., Olin Hall Room 415
Drake University, Des Moines, IA 50311
Tel 1 515 271 2956
Fax 1 515 271 3702
dssenchina@drake.edu
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH VOL. 10, NO. 3 (2011)
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Synthetic fibers with better wicking
properties such as acrylic and polyester
have replaced cotton fibers in most athletic
sock models [2]. Cotton fibers are less
conducive to moisture transport than
synthetic fibers, have longer drying times [3]
and, on average, swell 9 more than
synthetic fibers [4]. If the foot is wet,
evaporation of perspiration is reduced and
the cooling effect from sweating is
hampered [5]. Data on the effects of sock
construction on foot temperature are
available but conflicting. A study of five
different commercially-available socks
showed that both sock material and weave
impacted sweat accumulation and foot
temperature during running [6]. In a
separate study, experimenters asked
subjects to run on a treadmill for thirty
minutes in either a standard sock or an
ergonomic fitted sock. There were no
differences in physiological foot temperature
as a result of sock model, though subjects
perceived the ergonomic sock as being
more comfortable and their feet as being
more cool compared to the standard sock
[7]. This suggests that runners’ perceptions
of foot temperature may differ from
physiological foot temperature. One author
team opined that temperature perception is
often confused with perception of sweat
accumulation [5]. Factors such as sock
softness and dryness have also been
correlated with perceptions of comfort [8].
In shoes, the upper is the most
important component when it comes to heat
transfer because it is the component that
wraps around the foot surface. Uppers can
be made of cotton, leather, polyurethane
(PU), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or other
synthetic fibers [5], and may be thin, thick, or
perforated to allow for air flow. Across a
range of relative humidity, materials such as
PU- or PVC-coated woven fabric have much
better thermal conductivity than materials
such as microporous PU or PU-coated non-
woven fabrics, with various types of leather
exhibiting intermediate properties [5]. Water
vapor permeability is higher for materials like
leather and lower for PVC-coated polyester
or fabric (Boulanger et al. 1976 in [5]). In
terms of comfort perception, the tensile
properties of the upper material [5] and foot
contact perception mediated by the
midsole/insole [9] are also important factors.
Despite this knowledge, we are unaware of
any published studies that have scientifically
characterized the effects of shoe material on
actual and perceived foot temperature
during running.
The purpose of this study was to
test if people could perceive differences in
foot temperature as a consequence of
running in shoes and socks of varying
construction. In the first experiment, three
different sock models and a calf
compression sleeve were tested while
runners wore the same shoe. In the second
experiment, four different shoe models were
tested while runners wore the same sock.
Three hypotheses were tested. Regarding
physiological foot temperature, we
hypothesized that there would be
differences in physiological foot temperature
based on shoe/sock materials such that the
sock with the lowest percentage cotton and
the shoes with the highest amounts of mesh
would be associated with lower physiological
foot temperature (Hypothesis A). Regarding
perceived foot temperature, we
hypothesized that there would be
differences in perceived foot temperature
based on shoe/sock materials such that the
sock with the lowest percentage cotton, the
compression sleeve, and the shoes with the
highest amounts of mesh would all be
associated with lower percevied foot
temperature (Hypothesis B). Finally, we
hypothesized that subjects’ perceptions of
comfort would be inversely proportional to
those of foot temperature as a hotter foot is
perceived as less comfortable (Hypothesis
C).
II. METHODS
The Drake University Institutional
Review Board gave approval for the study
(ID 2009-10088). Inclusion criteria were that
potential subjects had to be male, capable of
exercising safely in a men’s size 11.5 shoe,
and able to run for at least 30 min
continuously. Exclusion criteria were any
injuries or disabilities that precluded running
for that length of time, or that predisposed
one to run with an abnormal gait. Sixteen
young adult males (21.3 0.8 y, 181.8 1
cm, 74.6 1.5 kg) who self-reported as
regular exercisers participated in each of
two separate studies (total n=32). Eight
subjects participated in both the shoe and
sock experiment; thus, anthropometric
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Figure 1. Experimental technique. Flexible thermometers were attached midway on the lateral
dorsal surface of the right foot. One thermometer was placed directly against the skin (left), and
one thermometer was placed just medial to the same site against the sock surface (middle).
Thermometers were held in place with electrical tape at the measurement site, above the ankle,
and just below the knee. A shoe was then placed over the foot (right).
characteristics did not vary by group (sock
experiment = 21.3 1.4 y, 181.9 1.6 cm,
73.8 2.4 and shoe experiment = 21.3 1.4
y, 181.6 1.9 cm, 75.5 2.6).
Subjects reported to the lab wearing
a T-shirt and shorts. After completing a
medical history questionnaire to ensure it
was safe for them to participate, subjects
were fitted with a heart rate monitor (Polar
Electro Oy) and two flexible termperature
probes or thermistors (YSI Instruments).
One thermometer was placed directly
against the skin surface midway on the
dorsal lateral aspect of the right foot (Fig 1,
left) and held put with electrical tape. We
chose this site from all possible choices
because 70% of sweat secretion from the
foot occurs on the upper surface [10]. A
second thermometer was placed just medial
to the first over the sock (Fig 1, middle) in
similar fashion, and then both probes were
taped at the ankle and just below the knee
before being threaded up through the
waistline. The test shoe was then placed
over the sock (Fig 1, right). Thus, in the
shoe experiment the probes were placed
once initially and never adjusted, whereas in
the sock experiment the second probe had
to be reattached each trial because the sock
changed. We only measured temperature at
one site because a previous study that
examined foot temperature during treadmill
running at multiple sites reported that all
sites showed similar patterns [7] and the
lateral dorsal aspect was deemed least
noticeable by subjects during pilot trials.
The sock experiment tested three
different sock models (all ankle length) and
a calf compression sleeve. The three sock
models varied by fiber composition: one
sock was 100% cotton (“cotton”); one sock
was 53% polyester, 37% cotton, 8% olefin,
and 1% each natural latex and spandex
(“blend”); and one sock was 98% polyester
and 2% spandex (polyester). The
graduated calf compression sleeve was
made of 70% polypropylene and 30%
spandex and had a compression level of 26
mmHg. Each subject’s calf circumference
was measured prior to being fitted with
either a medium-sized (12-13.5 in
circumference) or large-sized (14.5-16 in
circumference) sleeve which was worn at
the same time as the blend sock. Subjects
wore the same shoes (Asics GT-2110 size
11.5; Fig. 1, right) for all four sock trials.
The Asics GT-2110 was used only in the
sock trials and never in the shoe trials.
The shoe experiment tested four
different shoe models all men’s size 11.5.
Two different brands were used. For each
brand, we selected one shoe model whose
upper was made of mostly mesh (“mesh”)
and a second shoe model whose upper was
made of leather and/or vinyl with ventilatory
grommets. These shoes will be referred to
as “Brand X Mesh”, “Brand X Solid”, “Brand
Y Mesh,” “Brand Y Solid” in this article.
Subjects wore the same socks (blend) for all
four shoe trials.
In the shoe experiment, all 16
subjects completed a 5 min warm-up at
approximately 70% of the treadmill speed
they wanted to use for the actual trials
followed by a 5 min rest. In the sock
experiment, half of the subjects (n = 8)
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH VOL. 10, NO. 3 (2011)
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Cotton
Blend
Blend+Sleeve
Warm-Up
Skin Site
+2.06 0.33
+2.23 0.33
+2.68 0.32
Sock Site
+1.95 0.39
+2.35 0.38
+3.15 0.38
Cold-Start
Skin Site
+2.19 0.3
+2.53 0.29
+2.44 0.3
Sock Site
+2.25 0.38
+2.88 0.37
+3.09 0.39
Table 1. Change in physiological foot temperature in the sock experiment after treadmill running
for 10 min. Values are average in C standard error. There were no statistically significant
differences by site or shoe.
Cotton
Blend
Blend+Sleeve
Warm-Up
Comfort
4.0 1.4
4.2 1.3
5.0 1.3
Temp.
5.9 0.7*,†
5.8 0.6**,‡
3.7 0.6*,**
Cold-Start
Comfort
6.2 0.9
4.7 0.8
5.4 0.9
Temp.
5.9 0.6
5.9 0.6
4.3 0.6
Table 2. Perceived foot comfort and temperature in the sock experiment after treadmill running
for 10 min as assessed on a 10 cm visual analogue scale. A “0” indicates most
uncomfortable/hot imaginable whereas a “10” indicates most comfortable/least hot imaginable.
Values are average measurements standard error. The single asterisk and double asterisks
represent statistically significant differences between the blend+sleeve compared to either the
cotton or blend alone, respectively. The single dagger and double daggers represent statistical
trends towards a difference between the polyester compared to either the cotton or blend alone,
respectively.
completed a similar warm-up and half
started cold (n=8). We did this so that we
could investigate whether a warm-up period
influenced our results, and the data from the
two shoe experiment subpopulations were
analyzed separately. No data was collected
during warm-up.
Trial order in both the shoe and
sock experiments was counterbalanced.
After being fitted with the sock and shoe for
their first trial, subjects ran for 10 min at a
constant speed on the treadmill with foot
temperatures from both the skin and sock
sites recorded pre- and post-run. Subjects
ran at the same constant speed for each
trial. Heart rate was also recorded pre- and
post-run. Subjects were allowed water ad
libitum. At the end of 10 min, subjects
stopped and straddled the treadmill belt so
they could immediately complete two 10 cm
visual analogue scales assessing foot
comfort and foot temperature. The foot
comfort scale was anchored with the phrase
“least comfortable imaginable” on the left
and “most comfortable imaginable” on the
right. The foot temperature scale was
anchored with the phrase “most warm
imaginable” on the left and “least warm
imaginable” on the right. Subjects marked
their perception by drawing a vertical line on
the continuum. Subjects then sat on a
physical therapy table for 10 min to rest.
After the 10 min rest period, subjects
received their next shoe/sock combination
and repeated the cycle until all four trials
were completed.
ANOVA was used to analyze the
results, with “trial order” and either “sock
model” or “shoe model” as included factors.
ANOVA was performed separately for the
sock and skin thermometer sites, heart rate,
comfort perception, and temperature
perception. An alpha level of 0.05 was used
for significance, with statistical trends
defined as p-values between 0.05 and 0.1.
III. RESULTS
a. Sock Experiment
Temperature recordings for all four
trials in the sock experiment are shown in
Table 1 for both the warm-up (n=8) and
cold-start (n=8) groups. Changes in foot
temperature pre- to post-running were not
statistically different for any sock model in
either group (all p>0.504). There were no
trial order effects for foot temperature at
either the skin or sock site in the warm-up
group, nor for the sock site in the cold-start
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH VOL. 10, NO. 3 (2011)
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Brand X Mesh
Brand X Solid
Brand Y Mesh
Brand Y Solid
Skin Site
+2.00 0.35
+1.88 0.36
+2.18 0.35
+1.82 0.35
Sock Site
+1.80 0.43
+1.77 0.44
+2.07 0.43
+2.16 0.43
Table 3. Change in physiological foot temperature in the shoe experiment after treadmill running
for 10 min. Values are average in C standard error. There were no statistically significant
differences by site or shoe.
group; however, there was a significant trial
order effect in the cold-start group at the
skin site (p=0.033) such that later trials had
a smaller increase in foot temperature, as
expected given the lack of a warm-up.
There were no significant differences in
heart rate change seen in either the warm-
up or the cold-start group.
Perceptions of foot comfort and
temperature during the sock experiment are
shown in Table 2 for both the warm-up and
cold-start groups. In the warm-up group,
there were significant differences in foot
temperature perception by sock. Subjects
perceived their feet as being cooler when
wearing the blend + sleeve as compared to
when wearing the blend alone (p=0.034) or
the cotton sock (p=0.026). There were also
statistical trends such that subjects
perceived their feet as being cooler when
wearing the polyester sock as compared to
blend alone (p=0.076) or the cotton sock
(p=0.058). Similar effects, though not
significant, were seen in the cold-start
group. There were no differences in comfort
ratings for either the warm-up group
(p=0.789) or the cold-start group (p=0.669).
b. Shoe Experiment
All subjects in the shoe experiment
completed a 5-minute warm-up prior to data
collection as described in the Methods.
Despite the warm-up, there was a significant
main effect of trial order at the skin site
(p=0.012), and a trend for a main effect of
trial order at the sock site (p=0.086), such
that in both situations the changes in foot
temperature from pre- to post-exercise was
much greater for trial #1 than any
subsequent trial (p0.026). To examine this
further, we removed all data points from trial
#1 and re-ran the ANOVA using only the
data from trials #2-4. There were no trial
order effects in the edited data set.
However, more importantly, all p-values that
were significant in the original analysis
remained significant in the second analysis,
and all p-values that were non-significant in
the original analysis remained non-
significant in the second analysis. This
suggests that the main effect of trial order
did not meaningfully influence the main
effect of shoe condition. Consequently, the
data presented for the shoe experiment
includes all trials.
Temperature recordings for all four
trials in the shoe experiment are shown in
Table 3 (n=16). There were no significant
differences in foot temperature change pre-
to post-running for any shoe model at either
the skin thermometer (p=0.934) or sock
thermometer (p=0.893) sites.
There were no significant
differences in heart rate change and no trial
order effects.
Perceptions of foot comfort and
temperature during the shoe experiment are
shown in Table 4. There were significant
differences in subjects’ perceptions of shoe
comfort (p<0.001) such that subjects
perceived “Brand X Mesh” as significantly
more comfortable than “Brand X Solid” or
“Brand Y Mesh” (both p<0.001), and
demonstrated a trend towards perceiving it
as more comfortable than “Brand Y Solid”
(p=0.087). Subjects perceived “Brand Y
Solid” as being significantly more
comfortable than either “Brand X Solid”
(p=0.031) or “Brand Y Mesh” (p=0.011).
There were no significant differences in
subjects’ perception of foot temperature
across shoes (p=0.123).
IV. Discussion
The main finding of this study was
that even though there were no differences
in physiological foot temperature across the
different shoe and sock trials, subjects
perceived differences in foot temperature in
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH VOL. 10, NO. 3 (2011)
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Brand X Mesh
Brand X Solid
Brand Y Mesh
Brand Y Solid
Comfort
6.8 0.5*,**,•
4.0 0.5*,†
3.7 0.5**,‡
5.6 0.5•,†,‡
Temperature
3.5 0.6
5.2 0.6
5.4 0.6
4.6 0.6
Table 4. Perceived foot comfort and temperature in the shoe experiment after treadmill running
for 10 min as assessed on a 10 cm visual analogue scale. A “0” indicates most
uncomfortable/hot imaginable whereas a “10” indicates most comfortable/least hot imaginable.
Values are average measurements standard error. The asterisk indicates a statistically
significant difference between Brand X Mesh and Brand X Solid whereas the double asterisks
indicates a statistically significant difference between Brand X Mesh and Brand Y Mesh. The dot
indicates a trend towards a statistically significant difference between Brand X Mesh and Brand Y
Solid. The dagger indicates a statistically significant difference between Brand X Solid and Brand
Y Solid whereas the double dagger represents a statistically significant difference between Brand
Y Mesh and Brand Y Solid.
the sock study and in foot comfort in the
shoe study.
In Hypothesis A, we speculated
there would be differences in physiological
foot temperature based on shoe/sock
materials such that the sock with the lowest
percentage cotton and the shoes with the
highest amounts of mesh would be
associated with lower physiological foot
temperature. Neither the sock data (Table
1) nor the shoe data (Table 3) support this
hypothesis as there were no differences
across trials within either experiment. We
initially thought that a shoe upper made from
mostly mesh would allow for better air flow
compared to one that had a solid upper with
ventilation grommets, so these findings were
somewhat surprising (Table 3). Regarding
the sock data (Table 1), other teams have
also shown that sock sweat accumulation
and foot temperature are unrelated to sock
cotton content [6; 7]. For instance, in the
study mentioned earlier involving treadmill
running, the standard sock was 76% cotton
and the ergonomic sock was 44% cotton
and 42% polypropylene, yet no difference in
physiological foot temperature was found
post-run between the two socks. Consistent
with those findings, another team
investigating two sock models of equal
weave but different fiber content (100%
acrylic vs. 100% cotton) wrote that there
were no differences in runners’ perceptions
of foot temperature or comfort between the
two sock models [11].
For Hypothesis B, we predicted that
there would be differences in perceived foot
temperature based on shoe/sock materials
such that the sock with the lowest
percentage cotton, the compression sleeve,
and the shoes with the highest amounts of
mesh would all be associated with lower
perceived foot temperature. Our sock trial
findings partially support this hypothesis
(Table 2) but our shoe trial findings do not
(Table 4). Considering the sock data first
(Table 2), we predicted that the calf
compression sleeve would elicit lower
perceptions of foot temperature. Ratings of
perceived foot temperature were statistically
significantly lower for the blend+sleeve trial
compared to both the cotton sock and blend
sock, but not the polyester sock. Further,
statistical trends were seen for lower ratings
of perceived foot temperature in the
polyester sock compared to both the cotton
sock and blend sock. No differences in
temperature perception were found in the
shoe trials (Table 4).
Our last hypothesis (Hypothesis C)
related to both experiments and was that
subjects’ perceptions of foot comfort would
be inversely proportional to their perceptions
of foot temperature. Stated another way, we
hypothesized that the two measures would
coincide with one another. The data in
Tables 2 and 4 do not support our
hypothesis and suggest that subjects
separated perceptions of foot comfort and
foot temperature in this study. We were
somewhat surprised that there were no
differences in comfort ratings for the sock
experiment (Table 2) given that the socks
were made of different fibers and had
slightly different weaves. It is possible that
the proprioceptive abilities of the foot were
not sensitive enough to detect the
fiber/weave differences, or that these
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH VOL. 10, NO. 3 (2011)
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particular fibers/weaves have similar enough
textural properties as to be indistinguishable.
Subjects reported comfort
perception differences in the shoe trials
(Table 4). Whether a shoe was “mesh” or
“solid” did not influence comfort ratings in
this study, as the two shoes with higher
comfort ratings were “Brand X Mesh” and
“Brand Y Solid.” Notably, “Brand X Mesh”
and “Brand Y Solid” had substantially less
mass than “Brand X Solid” and “Brand Y
Mesh” (330.8 and 318.8 g versus 457.9 and
430.9 g, respectively). It is tantalizing to
suggest that mass may have played a role in
comfort perception. To explore this
possibility, we weighed the shoes that our
subjects normally trained in (e.g., their own
shoes). Across the 16 subjects in the shoe
trial the average training shoe mass was
355.4 5.4 g (range 323.2 to 381.6 g).
Therefore, both the “Brand X Mesh” and
“Brand Y Solid” shoes were more similar in
mass to the shoes that subjects normally ran
in and, by comparison, both “Brand X Solid”
and “Brand Y Mesh” had greater mass than
shoes that subjects normally ran in. This
follow-up supports the idea that mass may
have played a role in comfort perception.
Curiously, the two shoes that were
perceived as most comfortable had the two
lowest pricesboth “Brand X Mesh” and
“Brand Y Solid” cost $40-45 whereas “Brand
X Solid” cost $125 and “Brand Y Mesh” cost
$100. Superficially our finding that the
lower-priced shoes were rated as more
comfortable than the higher-priced shoes is
congruent with findings reported by another
group. Researchers used low-, mid-, and
high-cost running shoe models from two
different brands to examine plantar pressure
distribution and compared those findings
with subjects’ perceptions of comfort using
visual analogue scales similar to ours [9].
As in our study, they found that the lower-
cost shoes were rated as more comfortable
by the subjects. Shoe mass values were not
reported, and it is unknown whether these
researchers factored shoe mass into their
analysis. If the higher-cost shoes contain
additional materials or parts that are lacking
in the lower-cost shoes (hence “justifying”
the higher price), then the reduced comfort
ratings seen in these studies may be
partially explained by the increased mass of
the higher-cost shoes. To explore this
possibility, we recorded the make and model
of the running shoes that our subjects
normally trained in and retrospectively
determined purchase price using the
Internet based on the most recently-
available model. The average purchase
price was $103 $5.40 (range $60-$140).
This follow-up does not support the idea that
shoe cost and shoe mass are related.
Nevertheless, it is clear that shoe mass is an
important factor to consider when
performing experiments that measure
comfort perception across different footwear.
This study has several limitations.
First, we used only a 10-min running bout.
Most people, especially trained runners, do
not run for only 10 minutes and it is possible
that differences in physiological foot
temperature dynamics are only manifest
after longer running times. (However, one
previously-referenced study discounts this
notion [7]). Second, although a treadmill in
a laboratory environment provided for a
controlled experiment, it does not mimic the
real environment and does not account for
any environmental factors. It is possible that
physiological foot temperature dynamics
would be different under different
environmental conditions. Third, subjects
were able to see the shoes and socks and
may have made inferences based on
preconceptions of or prior experiences with
particular brands or styles that influenced
their perceptions. This problem is difficult to
address; for instance, had we used athletic
tape to mask certain features on the running
shoes, it would have altered ventilation
properties of those shoes, and it would be
extremely difficult to hide dyed or sewn-in
identifying information on the socks. Fourth
and finally, because we wanted to minimize
inter-subject variability our subject pool was
one of convenience and included only males
who could exercise in a men’s size 11.5
shoe. Our results may be different for
females or males of different stature, and we
did not account for training status in our
experiment.
There are several options for future
experiments that build on these findings.
Considering the limitations of the present
study, future experiments could run for
longer times, run in different environments
or terrains, or include a more diverse subject
pool. The role of shoe mass in perceptions
of comfort needs to be better clarified, for
example, it is unclear what threshold of
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH VOL. 10, NO. 3 (2011)
14
difference is necessary for subjects to
perceive differences in shoe mass, or
whether subjects can judge shoe mass
similarly when wearing shoes versus hefting
them. Wool socks represent a different type
of sock fiber and could be investigated in a
similar model.
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
We thank all the subjects who participated in
this study for volunteering their time. RMB
was the lead student researcher and peer
mentor on this project, MRB and EMP
helped conduct some sessions, and DSS
was faculty mentor. Students in FYS 29
“Running: Body, Mind, Sole” helped conduct
experimental procedures. Jodi Gullicksrud
performed periodic checks of thermometer
accuracy during the course of the
experiment.
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... Several human wear trials have been employed to investigate the role of sock fiber type on thermophysiological responses during running. [6][7][8][9] Socks composed of either natural or synthetic fibers and natural/ synthetic fiber blends have been reported to elicit no differences in foot T sk 6,8,9 or moisture accumulation in the sock. 8 Surprisingly, however, the perception of temperature and moisture between socks of different fiber types have been reported to be different. ...
... Several human wear trials have been employed to investigate the role of sock fiber type on thermophysiological responses during running. [6][7][8][9] Socks composed of either natural or synthetic fibers and natural/ synthetic fiber blends have been reported to elicit no differences in foot T sk 6,8,9 or moisture accumulation in the sock. 8 Surprisingly, however, the perception of temperature and moisture between socks of different fiber types have been reported to be different. ...
... 8 Surprisingly, however, the perception of temperature and moisture between socks of different fiber types have been reported to be different. Although this did not always cause greater discomfort to the wearer, 6,8 participants perceived their feet as warmer and wetter for cotton socks or socks with a higher cotton fiber count during activity. [6][7][8] The results from these studies suggest that socks affect our perceptions of temperature and wetness within the shoe but have little thermo-physiological impact. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluated the effect of socks (different in fiber type) and the effect of not wearing a sock on perceptions of thermal comfort in relation to changes in foot skin temperature and shoe microclimate (temperature and humidity) during rest and exercise. Ten females completed five trials on separate occasions. Four socks (cotton, wool, polyester, Coolmax) and no sock were evaluated. Trials were conducted at 23°C, 50% relative humidity and consisted of rest (10 min seated), treadmill running (40 min, 7.5 km·h ⁻¹ ) and recovery (15 min seated). Foot skin temperature and shoe microclimate were measured at seven sites on the right foot. Foot skin hydration was measured at nine foot sites. Perceptual responses were recorded. Foot thermo-physiological and foot perceptual responses were similar for all sock conditions ( p > 0.05). Similar foot thermo-physiological responses were also observed between the sock and no sock conditions ( p > 0.05). Interestingly, however, not wearing a sock resulted in greater perceptions of foot wetness, stickiness and discomfort ( p < 0.05). As tactile interactions caused by foot movement within the shoe are strong predictors of foot wetness perception (a key contributor to wear discomfort), socks are important in reducing the tactile cues generated. The sock is therefore an important area for development and relevant for overall improvements in footwear comfort.
... Sock studies differed remarkably in experimental design characteristics (Appendix 1). Some reported no differences in actual foot temperature based on different socks 4,5,7 , though some reported pronounced 13,14 or inconsistent 6 differences. ...
... Of the sock studies that asked subjects to subjectively rate foot temperature, four reported differences between socks 4,5,7,15 , two reported no differences 6,16 , and one was inconclusive as different statistical models yielded different conclusions 17 . As shown in Appendix 1, widely discrepant experimental design differences may explain differences between studies, and most did not directly control for shoes. ...
... Fewer studies have assessed shoe effects. One pilot study of sixteen young adult males who ran for five minutes on a treadmill in two different mesh shoes and two different vinyl shoes (wearing the same sock model across trials and subjects) found no differences in actual or perceived foot temperature across the four shoe models 4 . This study used temperature probes in two locations, one between the skin and sock and another between the sock and shoe, both on the dorsal lateral aspect of the foot. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: There are few studies exploring the effects of shoe or sock material on foot temperature during running, and most are single-sex. Purpose: This study investigated how shoe material (mesh versus vinyl upper) affected lateral dorsal foot temperature (LDFT) during thirty minutes of treadmill running in both females and males. Methods: Twenty subjects completed two 30-minute running trials, one each in mesh and vinyl running shoes. Thermometers were attached to the dorsal lateral aspect of the right foot against the skin and against the sock. Visual analogue scales assessed subjects' perceptions of foot comfort and foot temperature. Results: There were no statistically significant differences in physiological temperature between shoes at any time point, though subjects perceived their feet as being warmer and less comfortable when wearing the vinyl shoe. Perceived foot temperature correlated significantly and positively with actual LDFT, and significantly and negatively with perceived comfort. Conclusions: These findings suggest that the LDFT will be similar regardless of shoe upper material, but that shoe upper material will impact on a runner's perceived foot comfort and perceived foot temperature. The lateral dorsal aspect of the foot may not be the most representative site of overall foot temperature.
... Knowledge Although subjective perception of foot T sk may not always coincide with measured foot T sk (Barkley et al., 2011), local discomfort has been attributed to elevations in temperature rather than elevations in the moisture content both within hiking boots (Arezes et al., 2013) and within sock and boot liner materials worn within protective footwear (Irzmanska et al., 2013). The influence moisture has on foot comfort therefore requires further investigation as it is unknown whether changes in temperature and/or humidity help an individual in determining perceptions of thermal comfort. ...
... With exercise, metabolic heat generation and sweat rates are high and so balancing the amount of heat supplied to or generated by the feet with heat loss becomes crucial. Currently, only changes to foot T sk during running have been reported (Barkley et al., 2011;Shimazaki and Murata, 2015;. During a 30 min running bout at 12 km h −1 temperature elevations from rest of 8.2°C were observed at the heel and 4.8°C at the neck of the big toe, foot regions associated with high contact loads and pressure during running (Shimazaki and Murata, 2015). ...
... Changes to shoe microclimate are suggested to cause strong sensations of discomfort. However, relatively few studies have assessed perceptual parameters in footwear (Barkley et al., 2011;Arezes et al., 2013;Irzmanska et al., 2013). In the current study, higher TS, WP, and ST were reported for the closed shoe in comparison to the open shoe during running and recovery. ...
Article
Shoe microclimate (temperature and humidity) has been suggested to contribute to perceptions of foot thermal comfort. However, limited data is available for perceptual responses in relation to shoe microclimate development both over time and within different areas of the shoe. This study evaluates perceptions of foot thermal comfort for two running shoes different in terms of air permeability in relation to temporal and spatial characteristics of shoe microclimate. The temporal characteristics of shoe microclimate development were similar for both shoes assessed. However, higher temperatures and humidity were observed for the less permeable shoe. Changes to shoe microclimate over time and differences between shoes were perceivable by the users. This study provides the most detailed assessment of shoe microclimate in relation to foot thermal comfort to date, providing relevant information for footwear design and evaluation.
... To our knowledge, there are no previous reports on the relationship between perceived heaviness and temperature in running shoes. Previous work on thermal perceptions of running shoes have demonstrated that: sometimes perceived temperature corresponds with actual temperature (West et al., 2019), whereas other times it does not (Barkley et al., 2011;White et al., 2019) as a function of thermometer type and placement; that thermal perceptions are Values are mean marks 6 standard deviation. Marks closer to 0 indicated less perceived comfort, heaviness, stability, or temperature, respectively. ...
... intertwined with other perceptions such as shoe humidity (West et al., 2019); and that comfort perception scores decrease as thermal perception scores increase (Barkley et al., 2011;White et al., 2019), though no significant relationship between perceptions of comfort and temperature were observed in the current study. Finally, a significant positive correlation between perceived comfort and stability was found. ...
Article
Full-text available
Commercially available running shoes differ in terms of their relative masses. It is unclear how well consumers may be able to judge mass differences from wearing alone, though previous studies suggest that perceptual outcomes may be influenced by experimental design factors such as the length of time worn. The purpose of this study was to investigate how the number of shoes used in a testing session impacts wearers' mass perceptual accuracy. Forty-eight young adult males ran for 5 min in 4 pairs of shoes (their own running shoes plus 3 unfamiliar pairs) before being asked whether an unfamiliar running shoe was heavier or lighter than their own, and to indicate perceptions of shoe heaviness (mass), comfort, stability, and temperature using visual analogue scales (VAS). A subset (n¼18) was also asked to provide global rank orderings after wearing all 4 pairs of shoes. Participants were 67% accurate in the heavier/lighter task and 64% accurate in the global rank order task. Global rank order scores and VAS heaviness marks were significantly and positively correlated. Mass accuracy scores (n¼48) were then compared to a previous study (n¼25) performed by the same investigators using the same methods but with 6 pairs of shoes instead of 4. No difference in accuracy scores for either the heavier/lighter comparisons or global rank order scores between the study populations was found, suggesting that the number of test shoes may not influence mass perception accuracy.
... Among them, around 1.1 million people suffered from diabetic foot ulcers each year [1]. Several studies show that the sudden change in unbalanced gait and foot complications in diabetes can be related to initial symptoms of diabetic foot ulcers (DFU), which can be reduced by up to 85% if detected at an early stage [2,3]. In sports, it was reported that the psychology of a sportsperson could be related to the unbalanced gait during the sports activities [4]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Foot pressure measurement plays an essential role in healthcare applications, clinical rehabilitation, sports training and pedestrian navigation. Among various foot pressure measurement techniques, in-shoe sensors are flexible and can measure the pressure distribution accurately. In this paper, we describe the design and characterization of flexible and low-cost multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT)/Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) based pressure sensors for foot pressure monitoring. The sensors have excellent electrical and mechanical properties an show a stable response at constant pressure loadings for over 5000 cycles. They have a high sensitivity of 4.4 kΩ/kPa and the hysteresis effect corresponds to an energy loss of less than 1.7%. The measurement deviation is of maximally 0.13% relative to the maximal relative resistance. The sensors have a measurement range of up to 330 kPa. The experimental investigations show that the sensors have repeatable responses at different pressure loading rates (5 N/s to 50 N/s). In this paper, we focus on the demonstration of the functionality of an in-sole based on MWCNT/PDMS nanocomposite pressure sensors, weighing approx. 9.46 g, by investigating the foot pressure distribution while walking and standing. The foot pressure distribution was investigated by measuring the resistance changes of the pressure sensors for a person while walking and standing. The results show that pressure distribution is higher in the forefoot and the heel while standing in a normal position. The foot pressure distribution is transferred from the heel to the entire foot and further transferred to the forefoot during the first instance of the gait cycle.
... Correlations between comfort VAS marks and actual shoe masses were poor (Figure 3), suggesting the two factors were not associated. This finding is consistent with previous shoe comfort perception studies (2,3,23). Separate studies have shown the foot may be poor at perceiving other shoe characteristics one would presume are related to perceived comfort, such as mileage-related decreases in heel midsole cushioning (11), ground reaction forces or plantar pressures (12,40), or even custom shoe orthotics (29). ...
Article
Full-text available
Consumers may purchase running shoes on the basis of their masses, yet little is known about shoe mass perceptual abilities. In this multi-part experiment, four groups of twenty-five young adult males (total n = 100) were challenged to gauge the relative masses of five unfamiliar running shoes. The four groups differed by the length of time they were given to wear the shoes (up to 1 minute versus 5 minutes) and whether or not they were able to use their own personal running shoes as a reference. After wearing each individual pair of shoes, participants provided perceived comfort and heaviness rankings using visual analogue scales (VAS). After wearing all five pairs of unfamiliar shoes, participants gave a verbal ranking of relative shoe mass. Participants also hefted the shoes with their hands and positioned them in order of relative mass. Extended wearing time improved overall verbal ranking accuracy, but did not improve mass perception accuracy as determined by comparing VAS heaviness rankings to actual shoe masses. Conversely, use of a personal reference shoe improved mass perception accuracy as determined by comparing VAS heaviness rankings to actual shoe masses, but did not improve overall verbal ranking accuracy. Hand perceptual scores were similar across the four groups, likely due to a ceiling effect. VAS comfort scores were unrelated to shoe masses. The results suggest that wearing time and reference shoes may influence mass perception by the lower limb in a context-specific manner.
... The high plantar temperature not only causes discomfort but also will bring some risk of sports injury causing foot bacteria to breed and create infection [5]. This requires sport shoes to have a better air permeability that can reduce the moisture inside the shoes, distribute heat, maintain proper thermodynamics during exercise and improve comfort especially for long distance runners [6]. ...
Article
Foot temperature can be affected by friction and contact pressure, in this study, we explored the specific changes of foot temperature under different friction conditions, running with socks versus no socks. The relationship between vertical loading force and foot temperature will also be investigated at the same time. Ten male recreational runners wore the same shoes and socks and were tested running 8km/h on a treadmill. The plantar temperature during running was recorded every 3 minutes for a total of 45 minutes. Post-run temperature change was recorded every 3 minutes for 12 minutes. The plantar pressure was recorded before running and at the first 15 minutes during running. The subjects with socks and no socks were tested on separate occasions. There were no significant differences found between the socks and no socks conditions. However, central metatarsal head, lateral metatarsal head, medial rearfoot and lateral rearfoot regions exist differences were reflected at the first 6minutes-12minutes of running. The foot temperature became more stable after 15minutes of running. Also, plantar pressure increased significantly in the hallux, other toes, first metatarsal head and central metatarsal regions. It also could conclude that lower initial temperature had a greater increase trend during the running start stage. When the ankle in plantarflexion stage, toe and forefoot regions showed a higher rise in temperature and also presented higher plantar pressure correspondingly.
... Differences in temperature and in humidity (instrumental, sensory) were non-significant. Similarly, in a study on temperature change inside sock/shoe assemblies no significant changes in temperature with any sock were detected (100% cotton; 53% polyester, 37% cotton, 8% olefin, 1% natural latex, 1% spandex; 98% polyester, 2% spandex [13]). In this study, participants did recognise a slightly lower temperature with the polyester and polyester blends, with cotton seemingly retaining a slightly higher temperature. ...
Article
Branded blends of wool and cotton for high-end apparel fabrics were established in Britain and later exported to many English-speaking countries during the 19 th century (e.g. woven fabrics Viyella™, 55% wool, 45% cotton; Clydella™, 81% cotton, 19% wool). During the late 20 th century, cotton and wool blend yarns for high-end apparel applications were developed in Australia (Colana®, 70% cotton, 30% wool). None of these branded blends of wool and cotton has a current market presence, yet there is evidence of relevance and interest in such blends for the high-end apparel market. How can we account for this disappearance and for the renewed interest?
... Differences in temperature and in humidity (instrumental, sensory) were non-significant. Similarly, in a study on temperature change inside sock/shoe assemblies no significant changes in temperature with any sock were detected (100% cotton; 53% polyester, 37% cotton, 8% olefin, 1% natural latex, 1% spandex; 98% polyester, 2% spandex [13]). In this study, participants did recognise a slightly lower temperature with the polyester and polyester blends, with cotton seemingly retaining a slightly higher temperature. ...
Article
Full-text available
Branded blends of wool and cotton for high-end apparel fabrics were established in Britain and later exported to many English-speaking countries during the 19 th century (e.g. woven fabrics Viyella™, 55% wool, 45% cotton; Clydella™, 81% cotton, 19% wool). During the late 20 th century, cotton and wool blend yarns for high-end apparel applications were developed in Australia (Colana®, 70% cotton, 30% wool). None of these branded blends of wool and cotton has a current market presence, yet there is evidence of relevance and interest in such blends for the high-end apparel market. How can we account for this disappearance and for the renewed interest?
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Sports garments play an important role in the well-being of an athlete by protecting the wearer from changing environmental conditions and providing a comfortable feel. Clothing requirements have changed in recent years and demand for apparel with a higher comfort performance has been rising. Hence, the purpose of this study is to explore consumers’ expectations and perception of comfort and to examine how different textiles are perceived by consumers to provide useful knowledge that allows to engineer comfort into fabrics and sports garments. Design/methodology/approach This online survey comprised 292 respondents, classified by sex, age, nationality and physical activity. The respondents were asked a total of 18 questions through the Bristol Online Survey tool to explore expectation, perception and preference of clothing comfort, specifically of sportswear. Findings Fit and comfort are closely linked together, both forming part of the clothing comfort concept. When purchasing garments online, the haptics of fabrics were identified as a crucial missing parameter. However, priorities of attributes within the concept varied according to the person’s sex and nationality. Women put more emphasis on garment fit and showed a higher need for tactile input, whereas men prioritised physiological comfort descriptors, i.e. properties which facilitate thermoregulation. Furthermore, there is an increased importance of physiological comfort parameters for people exercising for 10 or more hours per week. Finally, it was possible to identify common associations and preferences for textile materials (cotton, polyester, cotton/polyester blend and wool). However, consideration should be taken concerning sex and nationality. Originality/value Sex and nationality are parameters modulating the clothing comfort concept and the conceptualised feel of materials. Therefore, the sex and nationality of the end-consumer should be considered during the development phase of sports garments and particular attention should be given to the targeted market in which these will be sold.
Article
Full-text available
A longitudinal single-blind study was conducted to test the friction blister prevention properties of synthetic acrylic socks in a generic construction. This study serves as a comparison with the authors' previous work comparing acrylic and cotton socks in a patented padded construction. Twenty-seven long-distance runners provided data regarding dampness, temperature, friction blister incidence, severity, and size. Two different socks were tested; each was identical in every aspect of construction except the fiber content. One test sock was composed of 100% synthetic acrylic fibers, and the other was composed of 100% natural cotton fibers. These results were unsuccessful at demonstrating any superiority of cotton or acrylic fibers when knitting produced a generic "cushion sole" sock. The superiority of acrylic fibers has thus far been demonstrated only when sock knitting provides adequate anatomical padding [corrected].
Article
Full-text available
Little is known regarding local differences in foot sweat secretion. Since such information is important to our understanding of sweat gland control for thermoregulatory modeling and for the design of footwear we explored this topic. Local sweat rates were investigated across core temperatures from 37-39 degrees C, achieved using endogenous (cycling) and exogenous heat (water-perfusion garment: 46 degrees C). Six healthy adults (three men, three women) performed one-legged, incremental cycling in a heated, climate-controlled chamber (36 degrees C, 60% relative humidity). Sweat rates were measured at the forehead and stationary (left) foot (capsules 3.16 cm2): three dorsal sites (base of toes, second metatarsal, and mid point), the lateral, and the central plantar surfaces. Terminal core temperatures ranged between 38.3-39.1 oC, with peak heart rates of 155-187 bpm. Most foot sweat rates were < 50% of that observed at the forehead: dorsal 1 (38%); dorsal 2 (54%); dorsal 3 (37%); lateral (24%); and plantar surfaces (18%). When averaged across the trial, local sweat rates were: 2.61 (forehead); 0.98 (dorsal 1); 1.39 (dorsal 2); 0.95 (dorsal 3); 0.62 (lateral); and 0.47 mg cm2 2 min-1 (plantar). Two key observations emerged. First, sweat secretion from the experimental foot averaged 30 ml x h(-1), peaking in the last 5 min at 50 ml x h(-1). Second, approximately 70% of the measured sweat flow emanated from the upper skin surfaces, with only 30% coming from the plantar surface.
Book
The eagerly awaited new edition of Clinical Skills in Treating the Foot has been revised and updated with the needs of a broad range of health professionals in mind. For anyone treating patients with foot disorders, Clinical Skills in Treating the Foot will provide invaluable support through three key areas: Section 1 is concerned with the general principles of managing foot disorders and the context in which treatment of the foot takes place. Included are chapters on treatment planning, evidence based practice, governance and audit, clinical protocols, clinical emergencies and health promotion. Section 2 examines the application of clinical therapeutics to foot disease and includes chapters on operative techniques, surgery and the foot, pharmacology, physical therapy, mechanical therapeutics, chairside devices, prescription devices and footwear therapy. Section 3 considers the particular needs of special groups and includes chapters on the adult foot, the childs foot, sports injuries and management of tissue viability. With its clarity of text and liberal use of case studies and illustrations, the latest edition of Clinical Skills will be required reading for practising and student podiatrists. It will also be a valuable reference and guide for all others involved in the provision of treatment of the foot. This book has been written as a companion volume to the editors Assessment of the Lower Limb, also published by Elsevier Churchill Livingstone. Written by an experienced team of clinicians who also understand the needs of students as well as practitioners Logical and clear structure makes it easy to use for both clinicians and students Each chapter is self-contained and can be used for independent reading topics Case histories and clinical comment sections illustrate important clinical points Key points and summaries provides assistance for learning and review Features approximately 400 illustrations.
Article
The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship of fiber content and fabric properties to the subjective evaluation of comfort of socks and to determine the subjective evaluations and laboratory measurements that best predict comfort. Socks made from all synthetic or predominantly cotton fibers were worn during exercise. Laboratory measurements were made on samples of sock fabrics which had been washed but not worn. Subjective evaluations obtained from the participants during the wear study indicated that the socks made from synthetic fibers were slightly more comfortable than the predominantly cotton socks. Prior to the wear study the majority of participants had indicated that they would select cotton socks for maximum comfort. The subjective evaluations of sock softness and foot dryness were found to be the significant determinants of comfort. Neither fiber content nor any of the laboratory measurements (weight, thickness, moisture absorption, air permeability, compressibility, and compressional resiliency) were found to be good predictors of comfort.
Article
Many fabrics and clothing 'systems' have been designed to enhance heat balance and provide greater thermal comfort for the wearer. However, studies on the effects of socks have largely been ignored in clothing research. It has been suggested that the thermal state of the extremities may alter core temperature and mental stress may be a major determinant of skin blood perfusion on the foot. However, no definite conclusions have been drawn. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of two different sock types on foot skin temperature and to investigate any impact on whole body thermoregulation and energy expenditure. Sixteen subjects carried out two sessions of treadmill running exercise, one session wearing a standard running sock and one session wearing an ergonomic asymmetric fitted sock. The overall mean heart rate, core (aural) temperature, foot skin temperature, weighted mean skin temperature and sweat rate during exercise were not statistically significant between the sock conditions (p > 0.05). There was a consistent trend in all participants for the ergonomic sock to induce a higher core temperature and higher skin temperatures compared to the standard sock. Overall mean ratings of perceived exertion and ratings of thermal perception were similar for both sock conditions. Participant questionnaires highlighted a general perception that the ergonomic socks had superior cushioning but that the standard socks were comfortable to wear. Despite there being no significant physiological or thermal differences between socks, the ergonomic sock was perceived to be cooler and was the preferred sock which suggests that subjective perceptions may be more important than objective measurements when selecting a sock for wear during prolonged exercise.
Article
Many patients have been fit with orthoses and arrive to the clinic stating that their symptoms failed to resolve, or were even worse with use of the devices. Upon further questioning, they reveal that they may or may not have been evaluated thoroughly, according to the areas of evaluation that were explored in this article. Furthermore, they may have been casted in weight bearing, and often by a technician, instead of the medical provider. They usually have no awareness of having been maintained in a neutral STJ position for casting and generally remark that they were not educated at all regarding the contributory factors for their particular gait pathomechanics or pathology. Providers who dispense custom foot orthoses include physicians, physical therapists, podiatrists, pedorthotists, and chiropractors. Because of the number of disciplines that consider foot orthoses as part of their scope of practice, the presence of a frustrating lack of uniformity with respect to knowledge base, evaluation skills, casting skills, and treatment philosophy within this population is understandable. Even the language that is used to describe positions, motions, deformity, and pathology vary based on specialty and specific training. Not surprisingly, unacceptable disparities are present, even within the same disciplines. This huge variability undermines the credibility of those practitioners who thoughtfully and deliberately fabricate devices based on sound biomechanical principles. It behooves the referring provider, as well as his/her patients, to know the background of, and the evaluation procedures that are used by, the practitioner who will be evaluating the patient for custom foot orthoses.
Article
This investigation aims to determine if more expensive running shoes provide better cushioning of plantar pressure and are more comfortable than low-cost alternatives from the same brand. Three pairs of running shoes were purchased from three different manufacturers at three different price ranges: low (40-45 pounds), medium (60-65 pounds) and high (70-75 pounds). Plantar pressure was recorded with the Pedar in-shoe pressure measurement system. Comfort was assessed with a 100 mm visual analogue scale. A follow-on study was conducted to ascertain if shoe cushioning and comfort were comparable to walking while running on a treadmill. Forty-three and 9 male subjects participated in the main and follow-on studies, respectively. The main outcome measure was the evaluation of plantar pressure and comfort. Plantar pressure measurements were recorded from under the heel, across the forefoot and under the great toe. Differences in plantar pressure were recorded between models and between brands in relation to cost. Shoe performance was comparable between walking and running trials on a treadmill. No significant difference was observed between shoes and test occasions in terms of comfort. Low- and medium-cost running shoes in each of the three brands tested provided the same (if not better) cushioning of plantar pressure as high-cost running shoes. Cushioning was comparable when walking and running on a treadmill. Comfort is a subjective sensation based on individual preferences and was not related to either the distribution of plantar pressure or cost.
Creating "comfort" socks for the U
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R. Euler, Creating "comfort" socks for the U.S. consumer. Knitting Times 54 (1985) 47.
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M. Yamashita, Evaluation and selection of shoe wear and orthoses for the runner. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America 16 (2005) 801-829.