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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The effects of commercially available footwear on foot pain and disability in people with gout: a pilot study

Keith Rome1*, Sarah Stewart1, Alain C Vandal23, Peter Gow4, Peter McNair1 and Nicola Dalbeth245

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Rehabilitation & Occupation Studies, Health & Rehabilitation Research Institute, AUT University, Akoranga Drive, Private Bag 92006, Auckland 1020, New Zealand

2 Counties Manukau District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand

3 Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences, AUT University, Auckland 1020, New Zealand

4 Auckland District Health Board, Auckland, New Zealand

5 University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013, 14:278  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-14-278

Published: 24 September 2013



There is limited evidence on non-pharmacological interventions for gout. The aim of the study was to determine whether a footwear intervention can reduce foot pain and musculoskeletal disability in people with gout.


Thirty-six people with gout participated in a prospective intervention study over 8 weeks. Participants selected one of 4 pairs of shoes and thereafter wore the shoes for 8 weeks. The primary outcome was foot pain using a 100 mm visual analogue scale. Secondary outcomes related to function and disability were also analysed.


The Cardio Zip shoe was selected by 58% of participants. Compared with baseline, overall scores for all shoes at 8-weeks demonstrated a decrease in foot pain (p = 0.03), general pain (p = 0.012), Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ)-II (p = 0.016) and Leeds Foot Impact Scale (LFIS) impairment subscale (p = 0.03). No significant differences were observed in other patient reported outcomes including patient global assessment, LFIS activity subscale, and Lower Limb Task Questionnaire subscales (all p > 0.10). We observed significant improvements between baseline measurements using the participants’ own shoes and the Cardio Zip for foot pain (p = 0.002), general pain (p = 0.001), HAQ-II (p = 0.002) and LFIS impairment subscale (p = 0.004) after 8 weeks. The other three shoes did not improve pain or disability.


Footwear with good cushioning, and motion control may reduce foot pain and disability in people with gout.

Gout; Pain; Foot; Disability; Joint; Footwear; Comfort