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01-12-2018 | Research | Uitgave 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2018

Footwear choices for painful feet – an observational study exploring footwear and foot problems in women

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2018
Moira McRitchie, Helen Branthwaite, Nachiappan Chockalingam



A high percentage of the population report footwear related foot pain, yet there is limited research on the effect footwear has on the development of this pain. The aim of this study was to establish whether footwear purchased by patients have an association with foot pain and what choices determined a purchase decision.


Shape and size measurements of the dominant foot and footwear (length and width) were taken from 67 female participants who routinely received podiatric treatment. Participants were also asked to complete a short questionnaire to rate the shoe characteristics, emotions whilst wearing and reasons for the purchase.


Results highlighted a high prevalence of structural foot pathology for those over 61 who preferred slip on shoes. This group also wore shoes that were significantly narrower than their feet with width difference correlating to the presence of Hallux Abductovarus (HAV). In addition, results indicate that individual footwear advice is more important than previously thought, as it is clear that choice of footwear worn to podiatry appointments are not always worn on a daily basis.


This study emphasises that the width of the shoe is an important part of fit, highlighting the need for patient specific footwear assessment and education for behaviour changes.

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