Analysis of forefoot pressure in the ballet pointe shoe
Pointe shoes designed for ballet practice have been proven to cause injury at concentrated points of pressure, leading to misalignment within the shoe. This misalignment leads to career-threatening injury and possible cessation of dance. This study aims to identify regions of concentrated force on the forefoot and explore force reduction of significant areas. This culminates in the exploration of a toe box modification that aims to reduce areas of high force concentration, thereby promoting “correct” alignment of the metatarsals within the toe box. The beginning iterations of this study consisted of the development of a “foot model”, utilizing Creaform’s 3D scanning technology and VXElements to create a 3D rendering in two different materials, polylactic acid (PLA) and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). This print was used to produce feet for vertical loading simulation in the ADMET. The pressure measurements taken in the ADMET contribute to the characterization of areas on the forefoot that experience high force during loading. This study offers an understanding of the pressure and subsequent alignment factors that negatively impact dancers on pointe, affording how modifications of existing technology can improve the alignment due to pressure in the toe box of the pointe shoe.