Preliminary investigation on the reduction of plantar loading pressure with different insole materials (SRP–Slow Recovery Poron, P–Poron, PPF–Poron +Plastazote, firm and PPS–Poron+Plastazote, soft)

Background: The aim of this study is to investigate the amount of pressure reduction for different padding and insole materials commonly used in the podiatry clinic.

Methods: Plantar pressure were taken for 5 subjects without insoles fitted (BF) in their daily sports shoes, and thereafter with 4 pairs of simple insoles (6.4 mm thick) each as follow: SRP – Slow Recovery Poron, P – Poron, PPF – Poron+Plastazote (firm) and PPS – Poron+Plastazote (soft). In addition, subjects were also tested with semi-compressed felt (SCF) padding with a 1st metatarsophalangeal joint (MTPJ) aperture cut-out bilaterally. Minimum, maximum, mean pressure and peak pressure at the hallux, 1st, 2nd, 3rd/4th and 5th MTPJ across both feet were analysed. Repeated measures ANOVA with post hoc Bonferroni paired wise comparison was used to test for any statistical significance at the 95% confidence level for all pressure data.

Results: PPF was significant in reducing the minimum (p<0.005) and mean pressure (p<0.03) when compared to BF. This accounted for approximately 28% and 27% pressure reduction in minimum and mean pressure respectively. Peak pressure on the 1st MTPJ locality showed significant reduction of 37% and 29% with the use of SCF (p<0.004) and PPF (p<0.004), respectively.

Conclusions: All 4 commonly used insole materials were able to reduce pressure across the whole foot with PPF achieving significance. Off-loading the 1st MTPJ would still be best achieved with the commonly used plantar metatarsal pad of SCF with the aperture cut-out design.

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