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Sports Biomech. 2011 Jun;10(2):85-97.

Gender differences in foot shape: a study of Chinese young adults.

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Department of Sports Medicine, Chengdu Sports University, Chengdu, China.


One important extrinsic factor that causes foot deformity and pain in women is footwear. Women's sports shoes are designed as smaller versions of men's shoes. Based on this, the current study aims to identify foot shape in 1,236 Chinese young adult men and 1,085 Chinese young adult women. Three-dimensional foot shape data were collected through video filming. Nineteen foot shape variables were measured, including girth (4 variables), length (4 variables), width (3 variables), height (7 variables), and angle (1 variable). A comparison of foot measures within the range of the common foot length (FL) categories indicates that women showed significantly smaller values of foot measures in width, height, and girth than men. Three foot types were classified, and distributions of different foot shapes within the same FL were found between women and men. Foot width, medial ball length, ball angle, and instep height showed significant differences among foot types in the same FL for both genders. There were differences in the foot shape between Chinese young women and men, which should be considered in the design of Chinese young adults' sports shoes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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