Anthropological Science
Online ISSN : 1348-8570
Print ISSN : 0918-7960
ISSN-L : 0918-7960
Foot Dimensions and Foot Shape: Differences Due to Growth, Generation and Ethnic Origin
Makiko Kouchi
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1998 Volume 106 Issue Supplement Pages 161-188


Foot dimensions, indices, and variables relating to shape characteristics of foot outlines taken for Japanese, Australian aborigines, Indonesians and French were analyzed and compared with existing data to identify the differences due to growth, generation and ethnic background. The following findings were obtained: 1) There has been rapid increases in foot length for Japanese born after ca. 1950. 2) Japanese born after ca. 1960 had a smaller foot girth and foot breadth for their foot length compared to Japanese born before ca. 1950. 3) Secular change rather than aging is responsible for the generation differences in foot size and proportion. 4) Elderly female Japanese born before 1930 had very wide feet and a weaker valgus tendency of the first toe. Special attention should be paid to the needs of older men, and especially older women in the production planning and designing of the toe shapes of shoe lasts. 5) Differences due to growth and secular change in foot outflare, which is represented by posterior flexion angle of the medial axis of foot outline, were not significant. Ethnic differences in foot outflare was not significant for females. This does not appear to be easily influenced by environmental factors, such as nutritional status and shoe-wearing habits. 6) Mongoloid populations including Japanese have a wider foot for foot length compared to Caucasoid and Australoid populations. 7) East Asian populations including Japanese have a smaller foot length for height compared to Southeast Asians and Africans. The causes may be both genetic and environmental.

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