View Full Version : footedness, the replies

unknown user
11-09-1994, 03:24 AM
Thanks to everyone who sent me information on footedness. Two minutes spent
posting to the list was more productive than a couple of afternoons
searching literature databases! As well as recieving references, I also
recieved a few expressions of interest so I have posted the replies to
the list as usual.
Thanks once again for the time taken to reply to me. It was much appreciated.
Judith Lane Tel 041 552 4400 ex 3031
Bioengineering Unit Fax 041 552 6098
University of Strathclyde e-mail clfv39@vms.strath.ac.uk
Wolfson Centre
106 Rottenrow
Glasgow, Scotland

I hope this can help. I came accross this paper while working on my
dissertation on vertical jump performance:

Friberg O & Kvist M (1988). Factors determining the preference of
takeoff leg in jumping. Int. J. Sports Med. 9 (5):349-352.

Luis Fernando Aragon-Vargas, PhD Phone & Fax +506-227-9392
School of Physical Education e-mail: laragon@cariari.ucr.ac.cr
Universidad de Costa Rica


Hello Judith,
I have done a little work in this area and published an article concerning
it some time back in quadrupeds:

Deuel, NR, and LM Lawrence
Laterality in the gallop gait of horses
J. Biomechanics 20(6)645-649, 1987.

I know there's more work on it in the human literature but I haven't kept up
with that field very well. There's some work being done on
brain lateralization and tool usage in prehominids that's interesting as well.
I believe that has been within the last year in Nature or Science, but I
don't have exact references.

Nancy R. Deuel, PhD nd26@umail.umd.edu
* University of Maryland Equine Sports Biomechanics Laboratory *
* 1113 Animal Sciences Center Animal Sciences Department *
* University of Maryland Phone: 301/405-1385 *
* College Park, Maryland 20742 USA Fax: 301/314-9059 *


Dear Judith

The most notorious example of "footedness" is the longstanding
rivalry between "goofyfoots" and "regularfoots" in surfing.
Goofies ride with right foot forward, and are the minority
(about 10% to 20%). Regulars ride with left foot forward.

Only about 1% - 2% (or less) of the surfing population are
competent switchfoots. This is true in spite of the
considerable practical advantage in being able to surf
switchfoot (namely, you can ride lefts and rights with equal
facility). Despite this incentive, most people can't do it.

Whether you are goofyfoot or regularfoot is determined
empirically, when a pal puts you on a board, and observes which
foot you like to put forward. The boards themselves are
symmetric and therefore induce no bias (unlike snowboards, which
are structurally asymmetric, but otherwise have a similar
sociology of goofy vs regular).

It would be fun to take EEG's of people trying to ride
switchfoot. From having tried it myself, I can testify that the
neural confusion is remarkable.

Such a study would no doubt be publishable; your challenge will
be to link it to deeper scientific issues.

Good luck... John Sidles


Hi Judith Lane,

I am not sure about any published material, but from
very personal experience I know there leggedness or
footedness. Being right hander, I tend to use my
right foot largely to kick anything, to push anything,
play soccer etc etc.

Maybe it is worth exploring this question about

All the best in your research



I have had an interest in handedness since doing my PhD at Strathclyde
1987-1990. My main focus was upper limb but the issues are similar. Your
first port of call might be :

1. Porac C & Coren S (1981) Lateral Preferences & Human Behavior. New York:

You could also try the following :

2. Carson RG (1993) Manual asymmetries: Old problems and new directions.
Human Movement Science, 12:479-506.

3. Augustyn C & Peters M (1986) On the relation between footedness and
handedness. Perceptual & Motor Skills. 63:1115-1118.

4. Peters M & Durding GM (1979) Footedness of left- and right-handers.
American J of Psychology. 92:133-142.

I am sure that you will find plenty more !

Say g'day to all in the Unit.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dr Timothy M Barker email t.barker@qut.edu.au
Lecturer in Medical Engineering phone (07) 864 5103
School of Mechanical & Manufacturing fax (07) 864 1469
Queensland University of Technology
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane. QLD 4001
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hi Judith,
A very good place to start would be:

Peters, M. (1988). Footedness: Asymmetries in foot preference and skill and
neuropsychological assessment of foot movement. Psychological Bulletin, 103,

Numerous reference are contained therein.

You may also want to check recent related work by Michael Peters.

Richard Carson
Department of Human Movement Studies
University of Queensland


Hi from Vienna-Austria

In our Univ.Clinic PMR we do some research in dynamometry and ergometers. To
test the leading leg we make the one leg hop test. It derives from sports
The person is asked to jump three times with each leg as far as
possible. This is peformed by starting with one leg stand, hopping and
landing with the same leg. The side is altered after each trial. The selection
of the begining side should be random. The maximum of the mean of
three trials is the indicator for the leading leg.

Best whishes

Josef Kollmitzer DI.
Univ.Clinic PMR
Wahringer Guertel 18-20
A-1090 Vienna Austria


I cannot give you any specifics as I do not have copies of the following
in my office, but I would suggest that you may find information on
preferred footedness in one or more of the following:

1) The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency (1978)
tests for which foot the child prefers to perform certain
motor skills with. It is a well known test and somewhere,
in the course of its development, I would suggest that
there would be some use of literature on the topic as a
basis for constructing the subtest in question.

2) The following text has a substantial review of the early
research conducted on the topic of preferential handedness.
It may, therefore, have something on preferential

Espenschade, A.S., & Eckert, H.M. (1980). Motor
development (2nd ed.). London: Charles E. Merrill
Publishing Company.

I hope that these sources may be of some help.

Lori A. Livingston, Ph.D.
Department of Physical Education
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Avenue W.
Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5
e-mail: llivings@mach1.wlu.ca
phone: 519-884-0710, Ext. 4986

Dear Judith,

If you send me your fax number, I can send you a list that was given to
me by a woman from the United states that has looked at footedness (I
will have to dig it out though).

Best regards,

Brad McFadyen

Bradford J. McFadyen, Ph.D. u
Departement de kinanthropologie q
Universite du Quebec a Montreal a
CP 8888, Succ. Centre-ville m
Montreal, Quebec, Canada *
H3C 3P8 u
Tel: (514)987-4454 q
Fax: (514)987-6616 a
E-mail: r10510@er.uqam.ca m


Two starting points if you have not come across them:

Gabbard, C., Dean, M. & Haensley, P. (1991) Foot preference behavior
during early childhood. J. of Applied Dev. Psy. 12 (1), 131-137.

Peters, M. (1988) Footedness: Asymmetries in foot preference and skill
and neuropsychological assessment of foot movement. Psych. Bulletin.
103, (2), 179-192.

Both authors have published other work in the area too.
I would like to hear about other references that you receive, please.

jill whitall

My name is Carl GAbbard (professor) at Texas A&M university. Yes, our lab
has been studing footedness for the last 5 years. Be happy to send reprints,
best wishes


I too am intertested in this topic. PLease forward any other references you come
up with. I am aware of one paper which may lead you too others;
W. A. Rossi
The high incidence of mismatched feet in the population
Foot & Ankle 1983. 4(2): 105-112.

Perhaps a citation search using this paper will yield something?

Annecdotally, I've noticed a pronounced tendency for footedness to be the
opposite of handedness. For example, a right handed person will tend to lead
with the left foot more often than not. Right handers also favor the left foot
when jumping (e.g with L & R feet on separate force platforms the L footed force
platform will show a greater impulse when a max jump is performed).
Unfortunately, I have't done a careful study of this, but it seems to me to be a
strong trend, at least in my experience.

Good luck and all the best to Sandy Nicol.