The Impact of Footwear on Posture, Gait and Balance
Health (Irvine, Calif.)
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of footwear on posture and balance while walking. The types of footwear investigated in this study were open back shoes, commonly worn by hospitalized patients, and closed back shoes. Previous studies have shown that open back shoes, or slippers, increase the risk of falling (among elderly). We hypothesized that our findings would suggest that open back shoes negatively affect gait mechanics in healthy individuals. Methods: Healthy
... iduals (n = 12) participated in a walking test while wearing closed back shoes and open back shoes. The explanatory variables in this study were the analysis of gait, posture, and balance before and after walking. The objective variable was footwear (closed back shoes vs. open back shoes). A paired t-test was performed to detect significant differences between the two conditions. Results: Among the test items measured, we found a significant difference in minimum wide tilt angle and leftright differences in step length and intensity while walking between the conditions of closed back shoes and open back shoes. These results suggest that open back shoes could negatively impact posture and balance while walking, even in healthy subjects. Conclusion: It is imperative to improve patient awareness of the risk of falling. We believe that the inclusion of our findings in educational pamphlets and in-house notices could help improve patient awareness and more effectively prevent falls among patients.