November 2011

Study links poor footwear choices to impairment in patients with gout

In the moment: Footwear

Research from the Auckland University of Technology suggests use of poor footwear is a major problem in patients with gout, finding that 42% of individuals studied wore shoes with inadequate cushioning, support, stability, or motion control.

The New Zealand investigators, who published their study in November’s Arthritis Care & Research, assessed the footwear of 50 men with gout and collected data on their global function, disease impact, and foot disability. Researchers also asked about factors in patients’ shoe selection.

Fit was generally poor: 34% and 24% of shoes were too long or too short, respectively, and 54%, too narrow. More than 60% had no cushioning. Motion control was also lacking: only 26% had adequate heel counter stiffness, 50% had midfoot sole stability, and 42% had midfoot sole frontal stability.

Shoe width and depth didn’t correlate with foot pain, but poor footwear was significantly linked to foot-related impairment. Investigators concluded that future research should focus on assessing the role of competitively priced footwear with good cushioning, motion control, and forefoot width.

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