The purposes of this study were: (a) to determine whether subjects are able to distinguish between differences in footwear with respect to footwear comfort; and (b) to determine how reliably footwear comfort can be assessed using a visual analogue scale (VAS) and a protocol including a control condition during running. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) between comfort ratings for repeated conditions were high (ICC = 0.799). Differences in comfort ratings between the insert conditions were significant. A paired t-test revealed a significant difference in overall comfort ratings for the control insert when tested after the soft insert compared to when tested after the hard insert (P = 0.008). The results of this study showed that VASs provide a reliable measure to assess footwear comfort during running under the conditions that: (a) a control condition is included; and (b) the average comfort rating of sessions 4-6 is used.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.