Footwear and foot orthotic effectiveness research: A new approach

M. W. Cornwall, T. G. McPoil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Measurement of calcaneal inversion and eversion during walking is limited when subjects wear shoes. The authors of this study propose the use of transverse tibial rotation as a viable alternative measurement when barefoot assessment is not possible. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to: 1) determine the relationship between transverse tibial rotation and rearfoot motion during the stance phase of normal walking and 2) demonstrate the usefulness of measuring transverse tibial rotation when evaluating the effect of footwear and insole foot orthotic devices. Part l consisted of eight volunteers (five women, three men) whose rearfoot and transverse tibial motion was videotaped while they walked along a 12-m walkway. The results of this study showed that although absolute values were not comparable, the two motion patterns are related to each other. The correlation between the mean rearfoot and tibial motion patterns of all 16 feet was r = .953. Part 2 investigated the effect of footwear and orthotics on transverse tibial rotation using two case presentations. A video camera was positioned in front of each subject as they walked at a self-selected speed under various footwear or orthotic conditions. The results of the case studies revealed that footwear or foot orthotics decrease maximum tibial internal rotation compared with barefoot walking. In addition, internal tibial rotation velocity and acceleration were decreased by the use of shoes, an accommodative orthosis, and an inflatable medial longitudinal arch support. A rigid orthotic produced a slight increase in transverse tibial rotation and a dramatic increase in transverse tibial acceleration. It is felt that measurement of transverse tibial rotation may prove useful in evaluating footwear and orthotic effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-344
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1995


  • orthotics
  • tibial rotation
  • walking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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