Honors Theses


Joaquin A. Barrios and Kimberly Bigelow


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Publication Date

Spring 4-2015

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Foot orthoses are often prescribed to prevent and treat lower limb disorders. While the success of these devices is well documented, the mechanisms behind them are unclear. Due to methodological limitations, many studies have focused on the rearfoot. This is the first study to assess the effects of midfoot-targeted orthotic strategies on midfoot and rearfoot kinematics. Gait mechanics were recorded for 19 healthy females walking in four orthotic conditions: valgus midfoot post, varus midfoot post, heel lift and standard/control. The midtarsal and ankle joint 3D kinematics for the three experimental conditions were compared to the control condition. Variables of interest included 1) initial contact angles in the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes, 2) peak dorsiflexion, eversion and abduction angles, 3) and the associated angle excursions. The orthotic postings only affected the ankle joint in the transverse plane. The heel lift and varus posts only affected the midtarsal joint in the transverse plane. The valgus post affected all three planes, but did not necessarily increase pronation as expected. Overall, the ankle joint was minimally affected by the three orthotic conditions while the midtarsal joint was affected in all three planes.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research


Aerospace Engineering | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering