Women’s Footwear have been implicated as being responsible for the majority of foot deformities and problems that physicians encounter  in women.  ln our original study of 356 women,  the majority of women studied wore shoes that were too small for their feet, had toot pain and deformity, and had increased in shoe size since the age of 20. The women without foot pain or deformities also woЅ.e shoes that were smaller than their feet but to a lesser degree. In the present study, data on 255 of the original 356 women are evaluated. Tracings were made of the standing foot and women’s footwear. Measurements were made of  forefoot and the heel  width. An index of  forefoot width to heel width was developed.  The Тndices do not  vary much among women,  Based on linear rneasurements, as  forefoot width increases,  so does heel  width. As foot length increases, forefoot width increases to a  greater extent than heel width.

Women's Footwear

Women’s Footwear


For  thousands of years, humanity has  worn shoes. It has always been recognized that  shoes provide protective coverings for the feet,  but in more recent times, shoes have also been implicated as the principal cause of the  majority of  forefoot deformities encountered in women. The harmful  effects of  footwear have been noted by several authors. The deforming effects of ill-fitting  shoes on a normal foot can cause hammertoes, hallux valgus,  bunionettes, corns, and other disabling problems. The  majority of 356 women studied by the members of the  American Orlhopaedic Foot and  Ankle Society  (AOFAS)Council on Women’s Footwear were shown to  wear shoes that  were significantly smaller than their feet and to suffer from painful foot deformities.6 ln  that study, measurements were reported only on the discrepancy of  forefoot width and  shoe width.  Although forefoot widths vary widely among  women, little is known  about heelwidth. Women who  have a large  discrepancy between forefoot width and  heel width  require a  combination last for good shoe fit. Because  the combination last is not widely  available, these women may be the ones  to suffer most from poor shoe fitting.  Furthermore, as shoe length increases, manufacturers  typically enlarge all key internal  dimensions in  fixed proportions (a  process called scaling). However, a  longer foot  may not necessarily be wider. The purpose of the present study is to  measure forefoot width and  heel width, evaluate how they vary with foot length, and note variations and  their effect on shoe fit and foot  pathology.

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