Association between foot thermal responses and shear forces during turning gait in young adults

Angel E. Gonzalez, Ana Pineda Gutierrez, Andrew M. Kern, Kota Z. Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background. The human foot typically changes temperature between pre and post-locomotion activities. However, the mechanisms responsible for temperature changes within the foot are currently unclear. Prior studies indicate that shear forces may increase foot temperature during locomotion. Here, we examined the shear-temperature relationship using turning gait with varying radii to manipulate magnitudes of shear onto the foot. Methods. Healthy adult participants (N = 18) walked barefoot on their toes for 5 minutes at a speed of 1.0 m s−1 at three different radii (1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 m). Toe-walking was utilized so that a standard force plate could measure shear localized to the forefoot. A thermal imaging camera was used to quantify the temperature changes from pre to post toe-walking (1T), including the entire foot and forefoot regions on the external limb (limb farther from the center of the curved path) and internal limb. Results. We found that shear impulse was positively associated with 1T within the entire foot (P < 0.001) and forefoot (P < 0.001): specifically, for every unit increase in shear, the temperature of the entire foot and forefoot increased by 0.11 and 0.17 C, respectively. While 1T, on average, decreased following the toe-walking trials (i.e., became colder), a significant change in 1T was observed between radii conditions and between external versus internal limbs. In particular, 1T was greater (i.e., less negative) when walking at smaller radii (P < 0.01) and was greater on the external limb (P < 0.01) in both the entire foot and forefoot regions, which were likely explained by greater shear forces with smaller radii (P < 0.0001) and on the external limb (P < 0.0001). Altogether, our results support the relationship between shear and foot temperature responses. These findings may motivate studying turning gait in the future to quantify the relationship between shear and foot temperature in individuals who are susceptible to abnormal thermoregulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10515
StatePublished - Jan 18 2021


  • Biomechanics
  • Curved path walking
  • Feet
  • Locomotion
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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