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Geometric morphometric footprint analysis of young women.

J Foot Ankle Res. 2013;6(1):27

Authors: Domjanic J, Fieder M, Seidler H, Mitteroecker P

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Most published attempts to quantify footprint shape are based on a small number of measurements. We applied geometric morphometric methods to study shape variation of the complete footprint outline in a sample of 83 adult women.
METHODS: The outline of the footprint, including the toes, was represented by a comprehensive set of 85 landmarks and semilandmarks. Shape coordinates were computed by Generalized Procrustes Analysis.


RESULTS: The first four principal components represented the major axes of variation in foot morphology: low-arched versus high-arched feet, long and narrow versus short and wide feet, the relative length of the hallux, and the relative length of the forefoot. These shape features varied across the measured individuals without any distinct clusters or discrete types of footprint shape. A high body mass index (BMI) was associated with wide and flat feet, and a high frequency of wearing high-heeled shoes was associated with a larger forefoot area of the footprint and a relatively long hallux. Larger feet had an increased length-to-width ratio of the footprint, a lower-arched foot, and longer toes relative to the remaining foot. Footprint shape differed on average between left and right feet, and the variability of footprint asymmetry increased with BMI.
CONCLUSIONS: Foot shape is affected by lifestyle factors even in a sample of young women (median age 23 years). Geometric morphometrics proved to be a powerful tool for the detailed analysis of footprint shape that is applicable in various scientific disciplines, including forensics, orthopedics, and footwear design.

PMID: 23886074 [PubMed]

Read more... http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23886074?dopt=Abstract