It turns out, after all these millennia, Mother Nature still makes the most functional footwear.
Science just took a very long time to acknowledge her handiwork.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature this week, an international team of researchers found that a well-seasoned (i.e. callused) foot gives us better protection than shoes. In fact, they suggest, shoes have actually desensitized our feet, while changing the way we walk. And over time, that has dramatically altered the human gait.
“I’m not saying people shouldn’t wear shoes,” Harvard professor and study co-author Daniel E. Lieberman, tells Scientific American in a paywalled article. Instead, he suggests more research is needed on how footwear has altered our bodies and habits — and maybe what we gave up when we started covering up our feet.
I – Word Understanding
Millenia – (millenium) a period of a thousand years
Callused – a thickened and hardened part of the skin
Desensitized – less sensitive
Gait – the manner of walking
Paywalled article – an article online with restricted access
II – Have Your Say
1. According to some studies, a life lived in shoes could exacerbate the problem of losing sensitivity in our feet.
Are you willing to go barefoot? What places would you consider safe enough to go barefoot?
2. Despite the fact that going barefoot is good for our body, there are plenty of good reasons to wear shoes like avoiding plantar warts and athlete’s foot. What type of shoes do you wear?
3. Inside the house: barefoot? Slippers? Socks? Shoes? What is your house rule when it comes to footwear inside your house?