Application of plantar pressure assessment in footwear and insert design

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1999 Dec;29(12):747-55. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1999.29.12.747.

Abstract

This clinical perspective describes the application of plantar pressure assessment in footwear and insert design. First, the rationale and evidence for using pressure assessment to assist in the design of footwear for patients with diabetes is described. I discuss 2 important measures obtained from pressure assessment: peak pressure, because it represents the magnitude of potential mechanical stresses that can contribute to skin breakdown, and contact area, because this identifies the treatment areas. Using measures obtained from pressure assessment, guidelines are presented to maximize contact area of the insert to the foot and reduce highest peak pressures on the skin, with the goal of preventing skin breakdown. Second, a rationale and guidelines are presented for the application of plantar pressure assessment in the evaluation and design of footwear for people without impairments (i.e., the general public). Finally, future applications of pressure assessment to improve the design and fit of shoes are discussed. Benefits and limitations of using pressure assessment to assist in footwear design are addressed throughout.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Diabetic Foot / rehabilitation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Guidelines as Topic
  • Humans
  • Orthotic Devices*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pressure
  • Stress, Mechanical