Paper 13.467

K. Bredenkamp, "Designing Footwear for Uniformed South African Females - A Practical Study", in Proc. of 4th Int. Conf. on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Long Beach CA, USA, 2013, pp. 467-475,


Designing Footwear for Uniformed South African Females - A Practical Study



ERGOnomics TECHnologies, Centurion, South Africa


The main challenge inherent in designing for uniformed members remains the accommodation of large variances in anthropometry. Due to the rigid sizing rules characteristic to the footwear industry, designing to accommodate large foot shape variances requires out-of-the-box thinking. The aim of this study was to design female court shoes for uniformed members of the immensely diverse South African (SA) female population. Three dimensional (3D) foot anthropometry was collected for SA females by use of an InFootTM laser foot scanner. The foot shapes characteristic to the SA female population were analysed by means of two techniques : 1) principal component analysis (PCA) of 13 foot measurements extracted from the 3D foot data, and 2) PCA of all 3D points on foot scans converted to homologeous 3D foot models (Di+). The most prominent foot shape variances observed (irrespective of foot length) included foot width and height, heel to ball of foot width ratio and arch height. In addition, the 3D shape analysis (homologeous foot models) highlighted toe box shape, heel shape and heel bone angle variances. The process of designing and developing female court shoes that will incorporate these foot shape variances included several iterations of last design changes and objective fit evaluations. The original last design was conducted by use of Computer Aided Design (CAD) last design software QS (Shoemaster Custom software) incorporating Cases of 3D foot forms identified to represent the ranges of variances in SA female foot forms. Objective and subjective fit evaluations were conducted on the base size (most popular size). Modifications were made to the last dimensions and shoe construction based on findings of the fit evaluations. A larger scale fit evaluation was conducted incorporating a full size range of the modified court shoe, together with the addition of another court shoe integrating style characteristics more appealing to the user population. The outcome of this fit evaluation highlighted that, although the court shoe provided acceptable accommodation for a large percentage of the SA females, certain foot form variances were not accommodated sufficiently. Currently, the largest design challenge remains with the accommodation of females with flat feet (very low arch heights), broad heels and inverted heel bones. The prevalence of females with very low arch heights was roughly 50% of the females included in the large scale objective and subjective fit evaluation.


characterization, foot shapes, last, homologous body modelling, principal component analysis, female footwear


Full paper: 13.467.pdf
Proceedings: 3DBST 2013, 19-20 Nov. 2013, Long Beach California, USA
Pages: 467-475

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