2015 Volume 27 Issue 8 Pages 2519-2520
[Purpose] We developed socks which improve foot sensation and investigated their effect on the velocity and stride length of elderly women crossing obstacles. [Subjects] Ten community-dwelling, elderly women who could walk independently were recruited. [Methods] We measured velocity and stride length using the GAITRite system while the participants crossed obstacles under three conditions: barefoot, wearing ordinary socks, and wearing the socks which improve foot sensation. [Results] Velocity and stride length in bare feet and when wearing the sense-improving socks increased significantly compared to their values when wearing standard socks. Velocity and stride length did not differ between the bare foot and improved sock conditions. [Conclusion] Wearing socks helps protect the foot, but can decrease foot sensory input. Therefore, the socks which improve foot sensation were useful for preventing falls and protecting the feet of the elderly women while they crossed obstacles.