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Footwear Design - A View Inside the Shoe
When developing or testing the effects of footwear design, in-shoe pressure measurement provides important data to understand foot motion and movement, and can even provide an indication of comfort. The ability to identify areas of high pressure in the footwear gives a warning to potential sources of discomfort to address during the shoe development process. Additionally, to effectively test different cushioning materials and insoles, it’s essential to capture data from inside the shoe to see the ways these materials affect the foot.
Tekscan’s in-shoe F-Scan System is used by footwear manufacturer’s to optimize the design and comfort of different shoe styles. Footwear biomechanics researchers use the system to evaluate the effects of footwear on athletic performance or footwear used to treat different conditions like diabetic foot, gout or other pathologies effecting gait.
See how Tekscan’s In-Shoe System Provides Essential Data for Footwear Design
Researchers, Luximon, Y., et al, at The Hong Kong Polytecnic University and Beijing College of Social Administration, studied the effects of heel base size on walking stability. Prior research has studied the effects of long-term wear of heels, but it’s important to understand how various design factors affect walking patterns.
The study used 15 adult female subjects, all with the same shoe size, who wore high-heeled shoes one to three time per week, but had no foot related disorders or problems. Using the F-Scan System, Center of Pressure (CoP) and plantar pressures were measured for two pairs of shoes with different heel base sizes.
For anyone who has walked in high heels, it’s no surprise, that researchers found, ‘The small heel base size (HBS) significantly increased the maximal peak pressure and peak contact area over the toe region compared with the large HBS’1.
The authors conclude, ‘The objective measures suggested that high-heeled shoes with a large HBS might increase stability during level walking, an indication that was consistent with the perceived stability of the participants.’ The ability to measure and test different design decisions with objective data is helpful for developing shoes that maximize style and comfort.
Find the full research article here.
1. Luximon, Y. et al. 2015. ‘Effects of Heel Base Size, Walking Speed, and Slope Angle on Center of Pressure Trajectory and Plantar Pressure When Wearing High-Heeled Shoes.’ Human Movement Science.41: 307-3019.