New methods for evaluating physical and thermal comfort properties oforthotic materials used in insoles for patients with diabetes Wai Ting Lo; Kit Lun Yick, PhD; Sun Pui Ng, PhD; Joanne Yip, PhD
Aim • Develop systematic methodology to quantitatively assess key properties of orthotic insole materials with regard to their practical use by people with diabetes. • Relevance • Choosing suitable insole material is vital for effective foot orthotic treatment.
Method • Examined 7 types of orthotic materials. • With accommodation, cushioning, and control of orthotic insoles in mind, we developed test methods for examining force reduction, compression, insole-skin friction, shear, and thermal comfort. • We proposed a novel performance index that combines various material test results together to quantify overall performance of insole materials.
Results • Insole-sock interface has lower coefficient of friction and shearing stress than insole-skin interface. • Material brand and corresponding density and cell volume, as well as thickness, are closely associated with moisture absorption and thermal comfort.
Conclusion • On basis of our proposed performance index, practitioners can better understand properties and performance of various insole materials, thus prescribing suitable orthotic insoles for patients with diabetic foot.