Plantar pressure gradient and pressure gradient angle are affected by inner pressure of air insole

Fahni Haris, Yih-Kuen Jan, Ben-Yi Liau, Chang-Wei Hsieh, Wei-Cheng Shen, Chien-Cheng Tai, Yin-Hwa Shih, Chi-Wen Lung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clinically, air insoles may be applied to shoes to decrease plantar pressure gradient (PPG) and increase plantar gradient angle (PGA) to reduce foot ulcers. PPG and PGA may cause skin breakdown. The effects of different inner pressures of inflatable air insoles on dynamic PPG and PGA distributions are largely unknown in non-diabetics and people with diabetes. This study aimed to explore the impact of varying inner air insole pressures on PPG and PGA to establish early mitigation strategies for people at risk of foot ulcers. A repeated measures study design, including three air insoles (80 mmHg, 160 mmHg, and 240 mmHg) and two walking durations (10 and 20 min) for a total of six walking protocols, was tested on 13 healthy participants (height, 165.8 ± 8.4 cm; age, 27.0 ± 7.3 years; and weight, 56.0 ± 7.9 kg, BMI: 20.3 ± 1.7 kg/m^2) over three consecutive weeks. PPG, a measurement of the spatial variation in plantar pressure around the peak plantar pressure (PPP) and PGA, a variation in the gradient direction values at the three plantar regions, big toe (T1), first metatarsal head (M1), and second metatarsal head (M2), were calculated. This study indicated that PPG was lower at 80 mmHg air insoles after 20 min of walking in the M1 region ( p = 0.010). The PGA in the M2 increased at an air insole of 80 mmHg compared to 240 mmHg ( p = 0.015). Compared to 20 min, the 10 min walking duration at 240 mmHg of air insole had the lowest PPG in the M1 ( p = 0.015) and M2 ( p = 0.034) regions. The 80 mmHg air insole significantly lowered the PPG compared to a 160 mmHg and 240 mmHg air insole. Moreover, the 80 mmHg air insole significantly decreased PPP and increased PGA compared to the 160 mmHg and 240 mmHg air insole. A shorter walking period (10 min) significantly lowered PPG. The findings of this study suggest that people with a higher risk of foot ulcers should wear softer air insoles to have a lower PPG, as well as an increased PGA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1353888
Pages (from-to)1353888
JournalFrontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
StatePublished - 2024


  • big toe
  • diabetic foot ulcer
  • metatarsal head
  • walking duration
  • walking exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Histology


Dive into the research topics of 'Plantar pressure gradient and pressure gradient angle are affected by inner pressure of air insole'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this