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The effect of shoe toe box shape and volume on forefoot interdigital and plantar pressures in healthy females.

BRANTHWAITE, Helen, CHOCKALINGAM, Nachiappan and GREENHALGH, Andrew K (2013) The effect of shoe toe box shape and volume on forefoot interdigital and plantar pressures in healthy females. Journal of foot and ankle research, 6 (1). p. 28. ISSN 1757-1146

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Abstract or description


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.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Psychology, Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Nachiappan CHOCKALINGAM
Date Deposited: 06 Aug 2014 08:22
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 03:47

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