Is retail footwear fit for purpose for the feet of adults who are obese?

Price, C ORCID: and Nester, CJ ORCID: 2016, 'Is retail footwear fit for purpose for the feet of adults who are obese?' , Footwear Science, 8 (3) , pp. 139-146.

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (878kB) | Preview
[img] Microsoft Word - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (781kB) | Request a copy


Background: The internal morphology and dimensions of shoes are determined by lasts on which they are manufactured, defined by foot shape, aesthetics and manufacturing requirements. Obese adults have larger foot dimensions with flatter morphology and report ill-fitting, uncomfortable footwear. Therefore, it is likely that lasts are not fit for purpose for this subset of around 30% of adults. This research quantified the relationship between the healthy weight foot and retail shoe and compared this with the foot of obese adults and wide-fit shoes targeted at those who are obese. Methods: A 3D foot scanner determined the morphology and dimensions of standard and wide-fit retail lasts and the feet of healthy weight and obese adults. Standard anatomical measurements and differences between multiple cross-sections of foot and lasts were compared with ANOVA. The relationship between a standard retail last and the foot of a healthy weight adult defined a level of acceptable difference in foot/last morphology/dimension, and was thus a benchmark to compare the difference between the obese foot and wide-fit last. Results: The comparison of standard measures demonstrated less spacious dimensions in the wide-fit shoes, specifically heel circumference and ball height. The cross-sectional analysis identified the wide-fit footwear has less spacious width in the rearfoot. In the midfoot and forefoot one of the wide-fit shoes exceeded the benchmark and provided significantly more space than the standard retail shoe. Conclusion: The results alluded to wide-fit footwear not currently being fit for purpose for obese adults; notably the footwear should be wider in the rearfoot. Meeting the footwear needs of the obese wearer may improve foot health and satisfaction, with potential benefits of increasing activity, consequently improving overall health.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society > Centre for Health Sciences Research
Journal or Publication Title: Footwear Science
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 1942-4280
Related URLs:
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: C Price
Date Deposited: 13 May 2016 10:06
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 20:41

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year