Best Foot Forward: How To Select The Right Prosthetic Foot
With all of the options available today, trying to determine the best prosthetic foot can be overwhelming. The first step each person should take is to think less about finding the “best” foot and more about finding the “right” foot.
There isn’t one “best” foot out there. Rather, the “best” foot is the foot that best fits you and your lifestyle. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of prosthetic feet and who they are best suited for.
High activity feet aren’t just for athletes. Active amputees will benefit from a high activity foot. These feet are designed to handle high-impact, high-stress, and high-energy levels.
- High-energy return
- Vertical shock absorption
- Smooth heel-to-toe transition
You guessed it: if you’re moderately active, a moderate activity foot is for you. But what, exactly, does moderate mean? Moderate is defined as walking at a variety of speeds and the ability to handle most environmental barriers. Inside WillowWood’s moderate activity feet is a keel that acts like an energy-storing spring. When you put weight on the foot, the spring loads. When you push off and take a step forward, the spring releases its energy.
- Energy storing
- Push off
Do you mostly walk at a single speed on level terrain? If so, a low activity foot may be best for you. Low activity feet are perfect for individuals who are mostly active by walking around the house, or perhaps traversing the occasional curb or stair.
- Toe flexion
- Heel compression
You can see a side-by-side comparison of high, moderate, and low activity feet on the WillowWood Amputee Resource Center.
NOTE: Always contact your clinician for prosthetic care advice. The descriptions in this article are intended to help you get started in choosing which option may be best suited for you, but should never replace prosthetic advice from your clinician.