Volume 20, Issue 4 (July 1992)
Podometrics: A New Methodology for Foot Typing
Podometrics is an original and innovative system to establish cartographical and geometrical parameters for the human foot: a methodology for “mapping” the foot to determine foot types by anthropometrical classification. A methodology has long been evasive because of the challenging complexities of the foot with its unique shapes, components and many converging contours and angles. Foot typing efforts to date have not been particularly productive or effective because the emphasis has been mostly on external features rather than on both internal and external features; and also because the main focus has been on numerical measurement data rather than geometrical design. Further, foot typing has often included both structural and functional features, which sometimes tend to be conflicting and confusing by intermixing structural and functional types.
Podometrics has numerous potential practical applications in various fields. For example, in orthopaedics and podiatry in establishing foot norms in the diagnosis and therapies of foot disorders; in the shoe industry for the design of shoe lasts and footwear, and enabling the development of a uniform system of shoe sizes for better shoe fit and more efficient biomechanics within the shoe; in physical anthropology for developing an anthropometric system for genetic or racial foot typing; in criminology for detection of body type via foot type obtained from footprints.