Faculty Advisor

Orloff, Heidi

Area of Study

Science and Mathematics

Publication Date

Summer 2012


Properly fitted footwear is important for peak athletic performance and comfort (Wakeling, Pascual, & Nigg, 2002; Wunderlich & Cavanagh, 2001). Traditionally, all footwear is designed from a single last that attempts to fit the typical adult male foot (Wunderlich & Cavanagh, 2001). However, it has been found that individuals vary in foot morphology and loading characteristics (Kouchi, 1998; Razeghi & Edward, 2002). The purpose of this study was to document foot characteristics of an unshod population, specifically Samoan, which may aid in footwear design. 116 Samoan individuals and 106 Caucasian individuals were asked to voluntarily participate in the study. Subjects were asked to stand, one foot at a time, in the 3-D scanner as the image was generated. The scanner automatically calculated 7 anthropometric measurements of the foot, including length, breadth, ball girth, instep circumference, height of medial and lateral malleoli, and heel-ankle girth. Not only was the Samoan foot found to be longer and wider than the Caucasian foot, but the shape was also markedly different. It is suggested that Samoan and Caucasian foot dimensions are not comparable when standardized to foot length.


University of Puget Sound