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Alessandra Paiva de Castro, José Rubens Rebelatto, and Thaís Rabiatti Aurichio

Context:

Some questions remain regarding the anthropometric differences between the feet of young men and women, but the gap is much greater when dealing with older adults. No studies were found concerning these differences in an exclusively older adult population, which makes it difficult to manufacture shoes based on the specific anthropometric measurements of the older adult population and according to gender differences.

Objective:

To identify differences between the anthropometric foot variables of older men and women.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Participants:

154 older women (69.0 ± 6.8 y) and 131 older men (69.0 ± 6.5 y).

Main Outcome Measures:

The foot evaluations comprised the variables of width, perimeter, height, length, 1st and 5th metatarsophalangeal angles, the Arch Index (AI), and the Foot Posture Index (FPI). A data analysis was performed using t test and a post hoc power analysis.

Results:

Women showed significantly higher values for the width and perimeter of the toes, width of the metatarsal heads, and width of the heel and presented significantly lower values for the height of the dorsal foot after normalization of the data to foot length. The 1st and 5 th metatarsophalangeal angles were smaller in the men. There were no differences between men and women with respect to AI and FPI.

Conclusions:

Overall, the current study shows evidence of differences between some of the anthropometric foot variables of older men and women that must be taken into account for the manufacture of shoes for older adults.

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Alessandra Paiva de Castro, José Rubens Rebelatto, and Thaís Rabiatti Aurichio

Context:

Wearing inappropriate shoes can cause biomechanical imbalance, foot problems, and pain and induce falls.

Objective:

To verify the prevalence of wearing incorrectly sized shoes and the relationship between incorrectly sized shoes and foot dimensions, pain, and diabetes among older adults.

Design:

A cross-sectional study.

Participants:

399 older adults (227 women and 172 men) age 60 to 90 y.

Main Outcome Measures:

The participants were asked about the presence of diabetes, pain in the lower limbs and back, and pain when wearing shoes. Foot evaluations comprised the variables of width, perimeter, height, length, first metatarsophalangeal angle, the Arch Index, and the Foot Posture Index. The data analysis was performed using a 2-sample t test and chi-square test.

Results:

The percentage of the participants wearing shoe sizes bigger than their foot length was 48.5% for the women and 69.2% for the men. Only 1 man was wearing a shoe size smaller than his foot length. The older adults wearing the incorrect shoe size presented larger values for foot width, perimeter, and height than those wearing the correct size, but there were no significant differences between the groups with respect to the Arch Index and the Foot Posture Index. Incorrectly sized shoes were associated with ankle pain in women but not with diabetes. Men were more likely to wear incorrectly fitting shoes. The use of correctly sized shoes was associated with back pain in women.

Conclusions:

The use of incorrectly sized shoes was highly prevalent in the population studied and was associated with larger values for foot width, perimeter, and height and with ankle pain.