Effect of shoe type on descending a curb

Work. 2012;41 Suppl 1:3333-8. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2012-0601-3333.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of shoe type on the performance of women during curb descent. Performance during curb stepping may be explained by biomechanical research that has evaluated the kinematics of overground walking and stair ascent and descent. Studies have reported that women exhibit performance differences when wearing high heels, flip flops and sneakers during overground walking and stair ascent and descent. Thus, in addition to features of the curb, the type of shoe being worn may also affect performance. Although several studies have investigated curb stepping, no known studies have investigated the effects of different types of footwear on curb descent performance. This research was conducted in a real-world environment where participants wore three different types of shoes and performed a series of activities that involved curb stepping. The subjects were videotaped while descending a curb, allowing for observation of changes in gait parameters. Results of this study indicate that wearing high heels leads to performance differences as compared to wearing flip flops or sneakers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Shoes*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Video Recording
  • Walking*
  • Young Adult