Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Optimal shoe design for older adults

Dr KK Aggarwal

Due to changes in foot morphology and the occurrence of foot deformities and foot pain with aging, older people frequently wear ill-fitting shoes leading to discomfort and reduced mobility, says a review of literature published in the September 2019 issue of the journal Maturitas.

Anton Jellema of Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and colleagues concluded that there is a need for shoe design specifically aimed at the foot morphology and demands of older people, including aesthetics. Shoes need to provide stability, also in the lateral direction.

The review examined the effects of shoes or shoe elements on the comfort and mobility of older adults, to summarize the evidence-based elements of a safe and comfortable shoe for older adults and from that, to compile those elements into design recommendations for a safe and comfortable shoe for older adults.

Based on the evidence, the following design recommendations were made for the shoe elements required for a comfortable and safe shoe for older adults

An optimal shoe for older adults should include the following elements:

·         A proper anatomical fit
·         A well-fitting toe box
·         A limited heel height
·         A broad enough heel
·         A firm insole and midsole
·         An outsole with sufficient tread and width
·         A bevelled heel
·         A bevelled shoe nose
·         A firm heel counter with snug fit
·         An easy and effective closing mechanism

(Source: Maturitas, September 2019, Volume 127, Pages 64–81)

Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Elect Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania   (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA

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