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01-12-2014 | Research | Uitgave 1/2014 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2014

Evaluation of the accuracy of shoe fitting in older people using three-dimensional foot scanning

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2014
Hylton B Menz, Maria Auhl, Sonja Ristevski, Nicoletta Frescos, Shannon E Munteanu
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Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1757-1146-7-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

HBM and SEM are Editor-in-Chief and Deputy Editor-in-Chief, respectively, of Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. It is journal policy that editors are removed from the peer review and editorial decision-making processes for papers they have co-authored. The remaining authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

HBM and NF conceived the idea and obtained funding for the study. HBM, NF and SEM designed the study protocol. MA and SR collected and entered the data. HBM conducted the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. All authors assisted with the writing of the manuscript, and read and approved the final manuscript.



Ill-fitting footwear is a common problem in older people. The objective of this study was to determine the accuracy of shoe fitting in older people by comparing the dimensions of allocated shoes to foot dimensions obtained with a three-dimensional (3D) scanner.


The shoe sizes of 56 older people were determined with the Brannock device®, and weightbearing foot scans were obtained with the FotoScan 3D scanner (Precision 3D Ltd, Weston-super-mare, UK). Participants were provided with a pair of shoes (Dr Comfort®, Vista, CA, USA), available in three width fittings (medium, wide and extra wide). The dimensions (length, ball width and ball girth) of the allocated shoes were documented according to the last measurements provided by the manufacturer. Mean differences between last dimensions and foot dimensions obtained with the 3D scanner were calculated to provide an indication of shoe fitting accuracy. Participants were also asked to report their perception of shoe fit and comfort, using 100 mm visual analogue scales (VAS).


Shoe size ranged from US size 7 to 14 for men and 5.5 to 11 for women. The allocated shoes were significantly longer than the foot (mean 23.6 mm, 95% confidence interval [CI] 22.1 to 25.2; t 55 = 30.3, p < 0.001), however there were no significant differences in relation to ball width (mean 1.4 mm, 95% CI −0.1 to 2.9 mm; t 55 = 1.9, p = 0.066) or ball girth (mean −0.7 mm, 95% CI −6.1 to 4.8 mm; t 55 = −0.2, p = 0.810). Participants reported favourable perceptions of shoe fit (mean VAS = 90.7 mm, 95% CI 88.4 to 93.1 mm) and comfort (mean VAS = 88.4 mm, 95% CI 85.0 to 91.8 mm).


Shoe size selection using the Brannock device® resulted in the allocation of shoes with last dimensions that were well matched to the dimensions of the foot. Participants also considered the shoes to be well fitted and comfortable. Older people with disabling foot pain can therefore be dispensed with appropriately-fitted shoes using this technique, provided that the style and materials used are suitable and extra width fittings are available.

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