The Relationship of Foot Types to Pressure Distribution Patterns of the Forefoot During Gait

Date of Award

Spring 4-1996

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Rehabilitation Sciences


Physical Therapy

Committee Director

Martha Walker

Committee Member

John L. Echternach

Committee Member

George Maihafer

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.P45 F36


Pressure distribution under the foot has been considered a useful indicator in the treatment of foot problems. The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between foot types and pressure patterns under the forefoot. Fifty-four healthy subjects (19 males, 35 females, mean age=27 years, S0=4, range=21-39) participated in this study. A BTE pedobarograph was used to record pressure distribution under the foot during barefoot walking. Foot types were classified as neutral, pronated, and supinated. Pressure distribution under the forefoot was classified as medial, central, and lateral patterns. The medial pattern had the highest peak pressure under the first metatarsal head or under the first and second metatarsal heads. The central pattern had the highest pressure under the second and/or third metatarsal heads. The lateral pattern had the highest peak pressure under the three lateral metatarsal heads. A significant relationship between foot type and pressure pattern was demonstrated (p< 0.05). A post hoc Lambda asymmetric value of 0.02 was obtained. This study concluded that there is a weak relationship between foot types and pressure patterns under the forefoot. One cannot use the foot type to predict the pressure distribution pattern under the forefoot. Results suggest that there are other factors which affect the pressure distribution under the forefoot.


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