Background: Orthotic insoles that are made of foam material often have less breathability and thus cause discomfort to the wearer. Given that a sandwich structure offers better porosity and breathability that would improve comfort, the impact of custom-made insoles made with three-dimensional spacer fabric is studied. Objectives: To examine the biomechanical effects and subjective comfort of spacer-fabric insoles during walking. Study design: Repeated measures. Methods: Plantar pressure and lower limb muscle activity data are collected from 12 subjects. Subjective perceived comfort is measured after five successful walking trials for each of the three different insoles worn: traditional insoles made with ethylene vinyl acetate and two types of spacer-fabric insoles. Results: Compared to the use of traditional insoles, there is a statistically significant reduction in the peak pressure (>8%) and pressure-time integral (>16%) in the toes and metatarsal head 1 with the use of the spacer-fabric insoles as the top layer. Insoles with two layers of spacer fabrics have the highest perceived comfort (p < 0.01). However, there is no significant difference in the selected muscle activity for all three insoles. Conclusion: Insoles with different arrangements of spacer fabrics allow changes in pressure patterns across the plantar foot and perception of comfort while walking. The findings enhance current understanding on the use of textile-fabricated materials, which provide alternative solutions for modifying insoles. Clinical relevance: The key features of spacer fabric offer a viable option for different orthotic insole applications. The results will greatly contribute toward insole prescription, potentially enhancing the efficacy of orthotic performance and increasing the range of insole materials.
- plantar loading
- spacer-fabric insoles
- subjective comfort
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Professions (miscellaneous)