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A mechanical protocol to replicate impact in walking footwear

Price, C, Cooper, G, Graham-Smith, P and Jones, R 2014, 'A mechanical protocol to replicate impact in walking footwear' , Gait & Posture .

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Impact testing is undertaken to quantify the shock absorption characteristics of footwear. The current widely reported mechanical testing method mimics the heel impact in running and therefore applies excessive energy to walking footwear. The purpose of this study was to modify the ASTM protocol F1614 (Procedure A) to better represent walking gait. This was achieved by collecting kinematic and kinetic data while participants walked in four different styles of walking footwear (trainer, oxford shoe, flip-flop and triple-density sandal). The quantified heel-velocity and effective mass at ground-impact were then replicated in a mechanical protocol. The kinematic data identified different impact characteristics in the footwear styles. Significantly faster heel velocity towards the floor was recorded walking in the toe-post sandals (flip-flop and triple-density sandal) compared with other conditions (e.g. flip-flop: 0.36 ± 0.05 m s−1 versus trainer: 0.18 ± 0.06 m s−1). The mechanical protocol was adapted by altering the mass and drop height specific to the data captured for each shoe (e.g. flip-flop: drop height 7 mm, mass 16.2 kg). As expected, the adapted mechanical protocol produced significantly lower peak force and accelerometer values than the ASTM protocol (p < .001). The mean difference between the human and adapted protocol was 12.7 ± 17.5% (p < .001) for peak acceleration and 25.2 ± 17.7% (p = .786) for peak force. This paper demonstrates that altered mechanical test protocols can more closely replicate loading on the lower limb in walking. This therefore suggests that testing of material properties of footbeds not only needs to be gait style specific (e.g. running versus walking), but also footwear style specific.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Shock; Footwear; Heel-strike transient; Accelerometer; Impact testing
Schools: Schools > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Schools > School of Health Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Gait & Posture
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0966-6362
Depositing User: S Rafiq
Date Deposited: 07 May 2014 14:44
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:43

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