Older people are more likely to fall. Some of them fall because they are wearing by badly fitting shoes or have problems with their feet. Badly fitting shoes can be the cause or the result of foot disorders. In practice, a lot of medical specialists and orthopaedic shoe technicians think that the shape of people’s feet changes as they grow older. The literature also indicates that ageing causes higher peak plantar pressure on the sole of the foot. High peak plantar pressure causes pain and can result in foot ulcers.
It is thought that the design of ready-to-wear shoes is not suited to the shape of elderly people’s feet. This may explain why so many elderly people wear badly fitting shoes.
This research looks into two separate aspects. First, it examines how the shape of older people’s feet develops. This involves measuring the different foot shapes of a large group of elderly people of various ages. This will provide information about the way the shape of people’s feet changes as they grow older. Secondly, each individual foot shape will be compared with the shape of the last used to make high-quality, well-fitting, ready-to-wear shoes such as those made by Durea. This will show whether ready-to-wear shoes are suitable for elderly people’s feet.
The aim of the project:
- To find out more about how people’s feet change in shape as they grow older.
- To assess whether the designs of current ready-to-wear shoes such as those made by Durea are suited to the shape of elderly people’s feet.
- To make changes to the lasts used in order to be able to manufacture optimally-fitting ready-to-wear shoes, and to develop new lasts for shoes suitable for people with specific disorders such as Hallux Valgus.
- To gain an understanding of changes in the pressure patterns, particularly the development of peak plantar pressure, on the soles of people’s feet as they age.
- To develop new insoles that will accommodate peak plantar pressure.