ERGONOMICS / ANTHROPOMETRICS AND FEET

V. Ryan © 2009

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An example for the need of good anthropometrics is seen when feet are measured for footwear. Incorrectly measured feet can lead to the purchase of footwear that is unsuitable in terms of its size and they can be comfortable and unhealthy to wear.
The more data collected relating to feet size, the more shoe designers and manufacturers will be able to produce shoes that are comfortable and healthy for the purchaser.
Feet are generally measured using the same universal technique. Two parallel lines are drawn as seen in the diagram. The top line touches the upper most point and the bottom line touches the lowest point of the foot. A ‘diagonal’ line is drawn from the heel to the big toe. This measurement can then be converted to a unit size. Unit size systems vary throughout the world.

Try measuring your own feet using the technique explained above.

Stand on a piece of paper with wet feet. Draw parallel lines as shown on the diagram. Measure the crucial distance.

Now measure the feet of people in your own class and record the results in a table of results.

Work out the average size of a foot.

Use the table below to collect a range of measurements of feet. This anthropometric data would be very useful if designing a product such as a sports shoe or general footwear.

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