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An evaluation of personalised insoles developed using additive manufacturing
journal contributionposted on 10.01.2013, 13:40 by Andre S. Salles, Diane Gyi
The aim of the study was to evaluate the short and medium term use of personalised insoles, produced by combining additive manufacturing (AM) with three-dimensional (3-D) foot scanning and computer aided design (CAD) systems. For that, 38 runners (19 pairings) were recruited. The experimental conditions were: personalised and control. The personalised condition consisted of trainers fitted with personalised glove fit insoles manufactured using AM and using foot scans to match the plantar geometry of the feet. The control condition consisted of the same trainers fitted with insoles also manufactured using AM but using scans of the original insole shape. Participants were allocated to one of the experimental conditions and wore the trainers for 3 months. Over this period they attended three laboratory sessions (at months 0, 1.5 and 3) and completed an Activity Diary after each training session. The footwear was evaluated in terms of discomfort and biomechanics. Lower discomfort ratings were found in the heel area (P ≤ 0.05) and for overall fit (P ≤ 0.05), with the personalised insole. However, discomfort was reported under the arch region for both conditions. With regard to the biomechanical data, differences between conditions were detected for ankle dorsiflexion at footstrike (P ≤ 0.05), maximum ankle eversion (P ≤ 0.05) and peak mean pressure under the heel (P ≤ 0.01): the personalised condition had lower values which may reduce injury risk. The personalisation of the geometry of insoles through advances in AM together with 3-D scanning and CAD technologies can provide benefits and has potential.