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Foot mechanics in young women are altered after walking in high-heeled shoes

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Nowadays, fashion has caused that many young women are wearing high-heeled shoes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine the effects of long-term walking in high-heeled shoes on the foot mechanics during barefoot gait. Methods: Forty-three young women (22 ± 2.1 years) divided into two groups participated in this retrospective cohort study. The first group was composed of women who frequently wear high-heeled footwear. The second, infrequent wearers group, consisted of women who preferred flat-heeled shoes. Measurements of gait parameters were recorded for barefoot gait. A motion analysis system and two force plates were used in order to evaluate the lower-limb rocker mechanism, transverse foot arch height and parameters of ground reaction force. Results: Walking in high-heeled shoes modified barefoot foot mechanics, which manifested itself in a shorter duration (by ca. 4%) of the first and second rocker and a significantly longer duration (by 5%) of the third rocker phase as well as a substantial reduction in height of the transverse foot arch (by around 50%) in women habitually walking in high-heeled shoes. A significantly shorter relative duration of the third rocker (44.3% of cycle time) and greater value of the vertical component of ground reaction force (114.7% BW) in the third rocker phase were found in the group of women habitually walking in high-heeled shoes. Conclusions: The mechanism of foot rolling, with flattened foot arch, and significantly higher values of the vertical component of ground reaction force and shorter time might lead to overload in lowerlimb joints in young women.
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Bibliogr. 26 poz., rys., tab., wykr.
  • Biomechanics Department, University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland
  • University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland
  • University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland
  • University School of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland
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