Footwear cushioning: Relating objective and subjective measurements

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    Footwear cushioning was evaluated objectively using an impact tester and related to perceived levels of cushioning (PLC). To evaluate the perceived levels of cushioning during standing, walking, and running, 3 experiments were conducted with 20 participants in each experiment. A 7-point subjective rating scale was used to rate the perceived levels of cushioning. At the end of the experiment, the subjective perceptions of cushioning were also recorded. During standing and running, the perceived level of cushioning can be predicted from the time to peak deceleration and/or stiffness (or compression). During walking, however, the magnitude of the peak deceleration on the impact tester appears to be a good predictor of PLC. Impact characterizations can reveal important differences between materials and how they are perceived during activity. In addition, the results seem to explain and link the differences that exist in the ergonomics and biomechanics literature on cushioning. Applications of this research include the design and selection of materials for footwear, floor mats, and other supporting surfaces.

    Original languageBritish English
    Pages (from-to)241-256
    Number of pages16
    JournalHuman Factors
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Jun 1999


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