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Effects of Surface Characteristics on the Plantar Shape of Feet and Subjects' Perceived Sensations

Authors Witana, Channa R.
Goonetilleke, Ravindra S. View this author's profile
Xiong, Shuping HKUST affiliated (currently or previously)
Au, Emily Y.L. View this author's profile
Issue Date 2009
Source Applied Ergonomics , v. 40, (2), 2009, MAR, p. 267-279
Summary Orthotics and other types of shoe inserts are primarily designed to reduce injury and improve comfort. The interaction between the plantar surface of the foot and the load-bearing surface contributes to foot and surface deformations and hence to perceived comfort, discomfort or pain. The plantar shapes of 16 participants' feet were captured when standing on three support surfaces that had different cushioning properties in the mid-foot region. Foot shape deformations were quantified using 3D laser scans. A questionnaire was used to evaluate the participant's perceptions of perceived shape and perceived feeling. The results showed that the structure in the mid-foot could change shape, independent of the rear-foot and forefoot regions. Participants were capable of identifying the shape changes with distinct preferences towards certain shapes. The cushioning properties of the mid-foot materials also have a direct influence on perceived feelings. This research has strong implications for the design and material selection of orthotics, insoles and footwear. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0003-6870
Rights Applied Ergonomics © copyright (2009) Elsevier. The Journal's web site is located at
Language English
Format Article
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