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Footwear Alters Normal Form And Function Of The Foot

Date:
July 24, 2009
Source:
Universiteit Antwerpen
Summary:
A habitually shod lifestyle has consequences for the biologically normal anatomy and function of the foot.
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Barefoot walking. Researchers found that footwear alters normal form and function of the foot.
Credit: iStockphoto/Joan Vicent Cantó Roig

A habitually shod lifestyle has consequences for the biologically normal anatomy and function of the foot.

Kristiaan D’Aout and Peter Aerts from the Biology Department at the University of Antwerp collaborated for their work on the biomechanics of barefoot walking with Dirk De Clercq (University of Gent, Belgium) and with Todd Pataky (University of Liverpool, UK).

This team made the first detailed analysis of foot function in people who have never worn shoes. For this project, they travelled to South India, where many people walk barefoot throughout life, mostly for spiritual or financial reasons.

In this way, the researchers wanted to gain an insight into the biologically normal function of the foot, which evolved for millions of years - unshod.

The research was funded by the Fund for Scientific Research – Flanders, and was based on dynamic measurements of pressure distribution under to foot sole during walking. It showed that he foot of habitual barefoot walkers differs, both in shape and in function, from that of habitually shod peers.

Barefooters have a relatively wide forefoot and manage at better distributing pressures over the entire surface of the foot sole, resulting in lower (and most likely favourable) peak pressures. As such, the fundamental scientific results are also important for clinicians and for the design of quality footwear, which should not hamper the foot’s biologically normal function.


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Universiteit Antwerpen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Universiteit Antwerpen. "Footwear Alters Normal Form And Function Of The Foot." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090724091339.htm>.
Universiteit Antwerpen. (2009, July 24). Footwear Alters Normal Form And Function Of The Foot. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090724091339.htm
Universiteit Antwerpen. "Footwear Alters Normal Form And Function Of The Foot." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090724091339.htm (accessed September 2, 2015).

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