A method and apparatus for measuring pressures exerted on human feet or horses' hooves comprises a rectangular array of piezoresistive force sensors encapsulated in a thin polymer package that is inserted into a shoe, or incorporated into a sock that may be pulled over a foot or hoof. The preferred embodiment employs novel piezoresistive normal force or pressure sensing elements which include a polymer fabric mesh impregnated with conductive particles suspended in an elastomeric vehicle, preferably silicone rubber. The piezoresistive mesh layer is sandwiched between an array of row and column conductor strip laminations, preferably made of a nylon mesh impregnated with printed metallic paths. In a variation of the basic embodiment, each normal force sensor element is bordered by laterally and longitudinally disposed pairs of shear force sensor elements, each of the latter comprising a pair of adjacent resilient piezoresistive pads that have longitudinally contacting lateral surfaces. The pads are slidably movable, and when urged into more or less intimate contact in response to shear forces directed normal to their tangent contact plane, the electrical resistance between the pads varies in a predetermined way as a function of the shear forces.
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