Sex-related differences in foot shape

I. Krauss, S. Grau, M. Mauch, C. Maiwald, T. Horstmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


The purpose of the study was to investigate sex-related differences in foot morphology. In total, 847 subjects were scanned using a 3-D-footscanner. Three different analysis methods were used: (1) comparisons were made for absolute foot measures within 250-270 mm foot length (FL); (2) and for averaged measures (% FL) across all sizes; (3) the feet were then classified using a cluster analysis. Within 250-270 mm FL, male feet were wider and higher (mean differences (MD) 1.3-5.9 mm). No relevant sex-related differences could be found in the comparison of averaged measures (MD 0.3-0.6% FL). Foot types were categorised into voluminous, flat-pointed and slender. Shorter feet were more often voluminous, longer feet were more likely to be narrow and flat. However, the definition of 'short' and 'long' was sex-related; thus, allometry of foot measures was different. For shoe design, measures should be derived for each size and sex separately. Different foot types should be considered to account for the variety in foot shape. Improper footwear can cause foot pain and deformity. Therefore, knowledge of sex-related differences in foot measures is important to assist proper shoe fit in both men and women. The present study supplements the field of knowledge within this context with recommendations for the manufacturing of shoes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1693-1709
Number of pages17
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • 3-D foot scan
  • Anthropometry
  • Cluster analysis
  • Foot dimensions
  • Footwear
  • Sex-related differences


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