The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of heel area on the utilized coefficient of friction (uCOF) during high-heeled walking and to explain the change of the uCOF by understanding the gait patterns. Four high heels with different heel areas (Narrow: 0.9 * 0.9 cm, Moderate: 1.5 * 1.7 cm, Wide: 2.8 * 2.9 cm, Wedges: one piece of the sole and heel) were manufactured for walking experiments. Ten females walked at 1.25 m/s on a treadmill with two force plates inserted, and the walking data were collected by motion capture system. The uCOF during stance phase was calculated from ground reaction forces (GRFs). The peak uCOF and the peak GRFs during loading response period was identified according to the heel area. One-way repeated measure analysis of variance and correlation analysis were performed for the peak uCOF and the peak GRFs. As the heel area became narrower, the peak uCOF increased significantly. However, there was no significant difference in the peak uCOF between the wide heels and wedge heels. The changed peak uCOF according to the heel area correlated with the change in timing of the peak uCOF. The peak uCOF and the peak anterior-posterior GRF occurred in early loading response period when wearing the narrow heels than the wide heels, although the magnitudes of the peak GRFs were consistent. The potential for slipping during high-heeled walking can be increased at narrow heel area since the horizontal shear force reaches the peak quickly before the vertical force is sufficiently large with weight acceptance.
Utilized coefficient of friction High-heeled walking Heel area
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