Use of textured footwear as an intervention for falls in healthy older adults.

About this project

There is strong evidence supporting the use of exercise as an intervention to improve balance and reduce falls, however there are noted issues with compliance of exercises. The longevity of continuing with exercises is poor without constant coaching on performance, leading to initial improvements that then slowly fade away. 

Utilising a textured mat or insole has been an alternative to exercises and has shown promising results in improving balance There are however restrictions in placing insoles inside shoes and the fit can be compromised. Utilising a shoe that has a midsole footbed with a textured base is a viable alternative to deliver balance intervention as well as maintaining compliance. The recent development of “textured footwear”, where the footbed of the shoe is textured, has been shown to improve balance and performance in healthy adults. This piece of work was presented at The Footwear Biomechanics Conference in Calgary Canada 2019 by the team at Mizuno lead by Hirai. A collaboration was formed to take the footwear and test it in a group of people who were older and had reduced balance. By exploring the impact of the shoe in this group new rehabilitation and treatment options may be viable with the shoe for individuals assessed as at risk of falling which in turn will reduce hospital admissions and improve well being of older individuals.

Lead researcher

Helen Branthwaite

Senior Lecturer

I am course leader for the postgraduate awards in Clinical Biomechanics. I also work as an advanced podiatrist in the independent sector allowing for current practice to be reflected in the award curriculum and my research.

Helen's profile

Associated researcher

Professor Nachiappan Chockalingam

Professor Of Clinical Biomechanics

As Professor of Clinical Biomechanics, I direct the Movement Analysis Laboratory and lead the biomechanics team and research at Staffordshire University. I am also an Affiliate Professor at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Malta

Nachiappan's profile


In collaboration with Mizuno, Japan.

Mizuno sports apparel Japan have provided all the shoes to be tested in the project.

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