JRM Vol.32 No.5 pp. 1080-1087
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2020.p1080


Development of Ankle Support Shoes with Elastomer-Embedded Flexible Joints

Takehito Kikuchi*1, Taiki Oshimoto*2, Isao Abe*1, Kenichiro Tanaka*3, Yasue Asaumi*3, and Naoki Chijiwa*4

*1Faculty of Science and Technology, Oita University
700 Dannoharu, Oita 870-1192, Japan

*2Graduate School of Engineering, Oita University
700 Dannoharu, Oita 870-1192, Japan

*3Faculty of Welfare and Health Sciences, Oita University
700 Dannoharu, Oita 870-1192, Japan

*4Arizono Orthopedic Supplies Co., Ltd.
1-7-5 Higashida, Yahatahigashi-ku, Kitakyusyu, Fukuoka 805-8538, Japan

May 27, 2019
July 30, 2020
October 20, 2020
shoes, flexible joint, ankle, gait analysis

Walking is one of the most important activities in daily living, and difficulty walking presents a severe limitation. In this study, we develop shoes with elastomer-embedded flexible joints (EEFJ) that assist the tibialis anterior in its function during the initial stance and swing phase of the gait cycle. The EEFJ designed is suitable for shoes, with an adjustment mechanism incorporated for easy adjustment. To assess the ease of wearing, we measured the time it took four elderly subjects to wear the shoes for the first time. The donning time was less than one minute for all four participants. Furthermore, no one indicated discomfort when they walked naturally with the shoes. The supporting effect of the EEFJ shoes was assessed for ten healthy male subjects walking with their ankles relaxed. Statistical analysis reveals significant differences in the ankle at initial contact (p=0.02) and maximum plantar flexion (p=0.03). The average angle at initial contact while wearing the EEFJ shoes is 5.3° less than without it, and the average maximum plantar flexion is 5.1° less than without the shoes.

Developed shoes with elastomer-embedded flexible joints (EEFJ)

Developed shoes with elastomer-embedded flexible joints (EEFJ)

Cite this article as:
T. Kikuchi, T. Oshimoto, I. Abe, K. Tanaka, Y. Asaumi, and N. Chijiwa, “Development of Ankle Support Shoes with Elastomer-Embedded Flexible Joints,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.32 No.5, pp. 1080-1087, 2020.
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