J.E. Tompkins, C.M. Wilburn, B.E. Decoux, H.H. Houde, J.J. Kosek, B. Adlou, M.E. Hancock, & W.H. Weimar,Auburn University, Auburn, AL

BACKGROUND: Non-slip socks are often used to combat falls within clinical settings. However, these socks are often ill-fitting and result in poor foot-to-sock interface. Thus, the purpose of this project was to compare gait measures between barefoot (BF), typical non-slip socks (HS), and non-clip socks with a compressive arch (ANS). It was hypothesized that the ANS gait would present better Center of Pressure Path Efficiency (CoPPE), less stance time (ST) and walking velocity (v) indicating better balance during gait. METHODS: Twenty participants volunteered to complete an IRB approved study. Participants walked under three randomized footwear conditions, BF, HS, and ANS at a self-selected speed across an instrumented walkway (Protokinetics LLC, Havertown, PA, USA). Three repeated measures ANOVAS were conducted to examine the difference of CoPPE, ST, and v under the footwear conditions. RESULTS: The results revealed no significant differences in CoPPE (F (1.015, 19.291 = 1.312, p =.281, η2= .065), stance time (F (1.997, 37.941 = .565, p =.556, η2= .03) nor v (F (1.551, 29.476 = 2.423, p =.102, η2= .113). CONCLUSIONS: Although no significant differences were found between footwear conditions, CoPPE and v were largest during the ANS condition, suggesting that the arch support may positively influence gait. Future research will investigate the influence of socks with complex, supportive components on individuals that have decrements in balance or have sustained a recent lower extremity injury.

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