Can static foot posture measurements predict regional plantar surface area?

Background: The intent of this study was to determine if the use of a single or combination of static foot posture measurements can be used to predict rearfoot, midfoot, and forefoot plantar surface area in individuals with pronated or normal foot types.

Methods: Twelve foot measurements were collected on 52 individuals (mean age 25.8 years) with the change in midfoot width used to place subjects in a pronated or normal foot mobility group. Dynamic plantar contact area was collected during walking with a pressure sensor platform. The 12 measures were entered into a stepwise regression analysis to determine the optimal set of measures associated with regional plantar surface area.

Results: A two variable model was found to describe the relationship between the foot measurements and forefoot plantar contact area (r(2)=0.79, p<0.0001). A four variable model was found to describe the relationship between the foot measurements and midfoot plantar contact area (r(2)=0.85, p<0.0001) in those individuals with a 1.26cm or greater change in midfoot width.

Conclusions: The results indicate that clinicians can use a combination of simple, reliable and time efficient foot measures to explain 79% and 85% of the plantar surface area in the forefoot and midfoot, respectively.

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