The footwear industry often has negative effects on the environment (e.g., land fills) and on our body (e.g., restrictive footwear). Future Footwear questions if indigenous footwear—crafted and worn in different regions over the world—has similar effects. In earlier Future Footwear studies we measured feet and footwear of adult males and females in and near the rural villages of Athani (Karnataka, India) and Inari (Northern Finland). Basic morphometrics (such as stature, mass, and leg length) and mechanical properties of materials and footwear demonstrate that indigenous footwear in these communities minimizes waste and resembles barefoot walking.
Plantar pressure distribution
Image of Ju/’hoan feet taken during fieldwork in Namibia as part of a biomechanical analysis of barefoot and shod walking.