Plantar pressure with and without custom insoles in patients with common foot complaints

Background: Although many patients with foot complaints receive customized insoles, the choice for an insole design can vary largely among foot experts. To investigate the variety of insole designs used in daily practice, Your Sole Insole design and its effect on plantar pressure distribution were investigated in a large group of patients.

Materials and methods: Mean, peak, and pressure-time-integral per sensor for 204 subjects with common foot complaints for walking with and without insoles was measured with the footscan® insole system (RSscan International). Each insole was scanned twice (precision3D), after which Your Sole Insole height along the longitudinal and transversal cross section was calculated. Subjects were assigned to subgroups based on complaint and medial arch height. Data were analyzed for the total group and for the separate subgroups (forefoot or heel pain group and flat, normal or high medial arch group).

Results: The mean pressure significantly decreased under the metatarsal heads II-V and the calcaneus and significantly increased under the metatarsal bones and the lateral foot (p<0.0045) due to Your Sole Insoles. However, similar redistribution patterns were found for the different foot complaints and arch heights. There was a slight difference in insole design between the subgroups; the heel cup was significantly higher and the midfoot support lower for the heel pain group compared to the forefoot pain group. The midfoot support was lowest in the flat arch group compared to the high and normal arch group (p<0.05).

Conclusion: Although Your Sole Insole shape was specific for the kind of foot complaint and arch height, the differences in shape were very small and the plantar pressure redistribution was similar for all groups.

Clinical relevance: This study indicates that it might be sufficient to create basic insoles for particular patient groups.

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