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Comparing the Impact of Off-the-Shelf Insoles and Customized Foot Orthoses on Peak Plantar Pressure

Introduction

This research aimed to investigate and quantify the variations in peak plantar pressure exerted by a selection of different insoles and foot orthoses. Elevated peak planar pressure on the foot's plantar surface is often associated with a heightened risk of lower extremity injuries. Over half a million data points were collected and meticulously analyzed to identify any statistically significant alterations in peak plantar pressure distribution among the examined products, in comparison to the control group comprising individuals with bare feet.

Experimental Design

In this experiment, five distinct insoles were analyzed against a control group, barefoot individuals. A Tekscan pressure mapping pad was utilized to gauge the peak plantar pressure, force, and overall force distribution area. The assessment involved placing the foot on top of the insole or orthotic, which was itself positioned atop the Tekscan pressure mapping pad.

Data Collection

Participants stood stationary for ten seconds, during which raw pressure and force data were recorded across the entirety of the foot (both left and right). The collected data was subsequently exported in CSV format for subsequent analysis.

Results

The raw data, visual pressure maps, and graphs comparing peak plantar pressure are collated and presented below.

 

Discussion

A significant increase in peak plantar pressure was observed in all the insoles and orthotics when compared with the control group (barefoot individuals). Intriguingly, inStryde was the only product that demonstrated a decrease in peak plantar pressure, whereas all other products led to increased peak plantar pressure.

Conclusion

The collected data underscores the fact that wearing off-the-shelf insoles amplifies the peak plantar pressures experienced by the plantar surface of the feet, thereby potentially increasing the risk of lower extremity injuries. The inStryde product emerged as an exception, being the only tested product that mitigated peak plantar pressure, and thus, theoretically reducing the risk of lower leg injury

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