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Running Shoes and “Bounciness”

At first glance you might think "gee, I need to get some of those shoes!"

But in reality, I'm again reminded of a study where people jumped from various heights onto a bed of cushioning below. The cushioning was the same, but when told the cushioning was firmer, they'd land more softly, and when told the cushioning was softer, they'd land more firmly - they stopped using their bodies to cushion themselves naturally, relying on the "softness" of the cushioning to do it for them.

I'm reminded of a second study where forces were measured with the same group of people wearing shoes and going barefoot. As you would expect, when running barefoot the people landed less forcefully and cushioned themselves more naturally and delivered far fewer forces up their bodies than before.

End result: it may actually be quite a bit safer (less force delivered up your legs to your knees and hips and back) to run with less padding than more.

Walking - and standing around - is a different story altogether.

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