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With cushioned shoes, the sole slows the rate at which the body impacts the ground, making it more comfortable. However, the force is the same. The energy that shoots up your leg is about three times more in a cushioned shoe than if you're barefoot.
Soft soles of shoes might also impact balance. As people age, their feet become less sensitive. If your feet can't sense what is going on on the ground, you may become more vulnerable to falls.
It's not that people shouldn't wear shoes, but that scientists don't yet understand the impact of footwear on the body over an extended period.
We add comfort when we wear cushioned shoes, but we reduce functionality. When people opt for fashionable footwear, it does not promote healthy walking. In one study, participants had to wear minimal shoes for six months. Although they were uncomfortable at first, they preferred them later.
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