Footwear for self-managing knee osteoarthritis symptoms: the Footstep Trial

Project Details

Knee osteoarthritis is a major problem in Australia and there is no cure for the disease. Non-drug strategies that help people to self-manage the condition are needed. Different types of shoes influence forces acting across the knee joint. We know that increased knee forces can contribute to the knee pain associated with knee osteoarthritis, and that high forces can increase the risk of the disease worsening over time. It is recommended that clinicians provide advice on “appropriate” footwear for people with knee osteoarthritis. However, there is little evidence from clinical trials to determine which shoes are best for self-managing knee osteoarthritis.

We are conducting a research study to compare two classes of readily available off-the-shelf shoes on knee osteoarthritis symptoms. To do this, we will allocate people via a random process into two different groups. Participants in each group will be provided with 2 pairs of different shoes to wear daily for 6 months. To ensure that this is a fair and unbiased evaluation, we will not disclose the differences in the shoe classes between the two groups until the end of the study. There will be an equal number of participants in each group, and participants will not be able to choose which group they are in.

The findings of this study will help determine which shoes are best for people with knee osteoarthritis and will guide clinicians in providing appropriate evidence-based footwear advice for their patients. The findings of this study will be published in medical journals and be presented at conferences



Monash University

  • Prof Andrew Forbes
  • Dr Jessica Kasza


  • National Health and Medical Research Council

Research Publications

FOOTSTEP Statistical Analysis Plan (SAP)

Download Research Publication [PDF]

Research Group

Musculoskeletal and Sports Rehabilitation

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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