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Biology Articles » Anatomy & Physiology » Footwear Alters Normal Form And Function Of The Foot
July 2009 — 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.
rating: 2.67 from 6 votes | updated on: 12 Jan 2010 | views: 3870 |
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