Characterization of the performance of shoe insert materials

G LewisDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Memphis State University, TN 38152.

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T TanDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Memphis State University, TN 38152.

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YS ShiueDepartment of Mechanical Engineering, Memphis State University, TN 38152.

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It has been widely reported that shoe inserts are an effective interventional modality either for the relief of discomfort to the feet associated with a variety of orthopedic disorders or conditions or simply for comfort. Results from many types of experimental tests have been used to obtain the shock absorption capacity of shoe insert materials. The authors contend in this study that, while shock absorption is a highly desirable property, it is by no means the only that should be used to characterize these materials. Thus, a new index of performance of these materials is proposed. This index is computed from data, obtained in a simple experimental test, on both the shock absorption and energy return performances of the insert material.