The foot’s response to load during weightbearing is investigated using finite element stress analysis of a two-dimensional model. The analysis predicts the stress states within the plantar aspect tissue during a variety of shoe conditions. Shoe soles with a range of elastic properties are modeled in an attempt to find a shoe sole that minimizes peak stresses within the foot’s soft tissue. This presently simplified and idealized model of the foot and shoe during mid-stance demonstrates significant dependency of stress development within the tissue on shoe elastic properties. These results would seem to justify further more detailed and realistic modeling of shoeing mechanics, and systematic efforts to correlate physical measurements and clinical experience with the trends indicated by finite element analyses.
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