- •Anatomical foot parameters were assessed in males and females divided in age groups.
- •In young-adults, the sex-related morphological differences are related to a lower foot length.
- •In the elders, no differences were found after normalization for foot length.
- •Feet anatomy presents specific characteristics in different ages of life.
- •The ideal footwear should take into account the age characteristics.
This study has assessed age-related changes of foot morphology for developing appropriate footwear with particular reference to the elderly.
Anatomical parameters such as foot length, circumference and height and ankle length, circumference and height were assessed in a sample of males (n = 577) and females (n = 528) divided into three age groups. The groups included young-adult, aged between 20 and 25 years; adult, aged between 35 and 55 years; and old, aged between 65 and 70 years individuals.
In terms of gender differences, in young-adult individuals the sex-related morphological differences observed, are just related to a significantly lower length of foot in females. In adult subjects morphological parameters investigated were significantly lower in females even after normalization for foot length. In old individuals, no differences of the parameters were found after normalization for foot length. Comparative analysis of morphometric data between young-adult and adult individuals revealed that the instep length was smaller in adults. The opposite was observed for the great toe and medial foot arch height. Length of ankle was higher in adult than in young-adult individuals, whereas ankle circumference and height were smaller. In old vs adult individuals foot circumference showed the most relevant age-related differences.
Feet anatomy presents specific characteristics in different ages of life. The ideal footwear should take into account these characteristics. This is true primarily for the elderly for minimizing the risk of falls or of other problems related to inappropriate footwear.
To read this article in full you will need to make a payment
Purchase one-time access:Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
One-time access price info
- For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
- For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'
Subscribe:Subscribe to Maturitas
Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
Already an online subscriber? Sign in
Register: Create an account
Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect
- Foot structure and anatomy.in: Goonetilleke R.S. The science of footwear. CRC Press, 2012: 21-35
- Sex-related differences in foot shape of adult Caucasians – a follow-up study focusing on long and short feet.Ergonomics. 2011; 54: 294-300
- Foot pain, plantar pressures, and falls in older people: a prospective study.J Am Geriatr Soc. 2010; 58: 1936-1940
- Sex-related differences in foot shape.Ergonomics. 2008; 51: 1693-1709
- Foot shape of older people: implications for shoe design.Footwear Sci. 2010; 2: 131-139
- Sexual dimorphism in foot length proportionate to stature.Ann Hum Biol. 2005; 32: 44-59
- Foot dimensions and foot shape: differences due to growth, generation and ethnic origin.Anthropol Sci. 1998; 106: 161-188
- Foot health and shoewear for women.Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2000; 372: 32-44
- Age-related differences in foot structure and function.Gait Posture. 2007; 26: 68-75
- Foot dimensions of elderly people with and without diabetes mellitus—a data basis for shoe design.Gerontology. 2002; 48: 241-244
- Footwear characteristics and foot problems in older people.Gerontology. 2005; 51: 346-351
- Proper shoe sizes for Thai elderly.Foot (Edinb). 2008; 18: 186-191
- Relationships between foot problems, fall experience and fear of falling among Japanese community-dwelling elderly.Nihon Koshu Eisei Zasshi. 2010; 57: 612-623
- Footwear, balance, and falls in the elderly.in: Goonetilleke R.S. The science of footwear. CRC Press, 2012: 535-558
- Falls in the healthy elderly: predisposing causes.Ergonomics. 1985; 28: 965-975
- Risk factors for falls among elderly persons living in the community.N Engl J Med. 1988; 319: 1701-1707
- Physiological factors and medications as predictors of injurious falls by elderly people: a prospective population-based study.Age Ageing. 1996; 25: 29-38
- Musculoskeletal pain and risk of falls in older disabled women living in the community.J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002; 50: 671-678
- Foot and ankle risk factors for falls in older people: a prospective study.J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2006; 61A: M866-M870
- Footcare for very elderly people: a community survey.Age Ageing. 1989; 18: 275-278
- Prevalence of foot complaints in the elderly.J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 1987; 77: 308-311
- More trouble with feet – a survey of the foot problems and chiropody needs of the elderly.Department of Health and Social Security, HMSO, London1986
- Foot pain and disability in older persons: an epidemiologic survey.J Am Geriatr Soc. 1995; 43: 479-484
- Nontraumatic foot complaints in older people. A population-based survey of risk factors, mobility, and well-being.J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2000; 90: 397-402
- Activities of daily living: changes in functional ability in three samples of elderly and very elderly people.Age Ageing. 1997; 26: 107-114
- Postural stability and associated physiological factors in a population of aged persons.J Gerontol. 1991; 46: M69-M76
- Age-associated differences in sensori-motor function and balance in community dwelling women.Age Ageing. 1994; 23: 452-460
- Risk factors for recurrent nonsyncopal falls: a prospective study.JAMA. 1989; 261: 2663-2668
- Home environment risk factors for falls in older people and the efficacy of home modifications.Age Ageing. 2006; 36: ii55-ii59
- Circumstances and consequences of falls in independent community-dwelling older adults.Age Ageing. 1997; 26: 261-268
- Environmental and behavioral circumstances associated with falls at home among healthy elderly individuals. Atlanta FICSIT Group.Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1997; 78: 179-186
- Recognizing the prevalence of changing adult foot size: an opportunity to prevent diabetic foot ulcers.J Am Podiatr Med Assoc. 2014; 104: 118-122
- Modified track shoes and their effect on the EMG activity of calf muscles.Work. 2012; 41: 1763-1770
- Do shoes matter? A story of shoes in the neonatal intensive care unit.J Nurs Adm. 2009; 39: 1-3
- The effects of sandals on postural stability in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: an exploratory study.Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2014; 29: 350-353
- Anthropometric reference data for children and adults: United States, 2007–2010. National Center for Health Statistics.Vital Health Stat. 2012; 11: 252
- Handbook of physical measurements.Oxford Medical Publications. Oxford University Press, 1989: 264-288
- Technical error of measurement in anthropometry.Rev Bras Med Esporte. 2005; 11: 86-90
- Attribution of foot bones to sex and population groups.J Forensic Sci. 1997; 42: 186-195
- Stature and sex estimate using foot and shoe dimensions.Forensic Sci Int. 2005; 147: 181-184
- Quantitative morphology of the human foot in a North American population.Ergonomics. 1994; 37: 1213-1226
- Ethnic differences in forefoot shape and the determination of shoe comfort.Ergonomics. 1994; 37: 187-196
- The feet of runners: do they differ from non-runners feet.in: Milburn P. Proceedings of the 6th symposium on footwear biomechanics, Queenstown, New Zealand2003: 49-51
- A new approach to children's footwear based on foot type classification.Ergonomics. 2009; 52: 999-1008
- Comparison of female foot morphology and last design in athletic footwear—are men's lasts appropriate for women.Res Sports Med. 2010; 18: 140-156
- Footwear.Phys Ther. 1988; 68: 1857-1865
- Foot morphology.in: Goonetilleke R.S. The science of footwear. CRC Press, 2012: 21-35
- A classification of foot types for designing footwear of the Korean elderly.in: Hennig E. Stacoff A. Proceedings of the 5th symposium on footwear biomechanics, Zurich, Switzerland2001: 48-49
- A comparative study of foot dimension between adult male and female and evaluation of foot hazards due to using of footwear.J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2001; 20: 241-246
- Surprising evidence of pelvic growth (widening) after skeletal maturity.J Orthop Res. 2011; 29: 1719-1723
- 3D shape capture of human feet and shoe lasts.in: Goonetilleke R.S. The science of footwear. CRC Press, 2012: 113-125
- J Am Geriatr Soc. 2001; 49: 664-672
- Men and women, so different, so similar: observations from cross-sex hormone treatment of transsexual subjects.Andrologia. 2014; 46: 570-575
- The association of body composition and sex hormones with quantitative ultrasound parameters at the calcaneus and phalanxes in elderly women.Calcif Tissue Int. 2011; 89: 456-463
- Effect of menopause, anthropometry, nutrition and lifestyle on bone status of women in the northern Mediterranean.West Indian Med J. 2010; 59: 494-502
Published online: August 08, 2014
Accepted: July 30, 2014
Received in revised form: July 29, 2014
Received: April 18, 2014
© 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.