The gait of the shoeless

This study looks at the gait of the shoeless:

To what extent does not wearing shoes affect the local dynamic stability of the gait? Effect size and intra-session repeatability,” Philippe Terrier, Fabienne Reynard, http://arxiv.org/abs/1212.5510, March 5, 2013. (Thanks to investigator Francis Villatoro for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at Institute for Research in Rehabilitation, Sion, Switzerland, write:

“Local dynamic stability (LDS) quantifies how a system responds to small perturbations. Several experimental and clinical findings have highlighted the association between gait LDS and fall risk. Walking without shoes is known to slightly modify gait parameters. Barefoot walking (BW) may cause unusual sensory feedback to individuals accustomed to shod walking (SW), and this may impact on LDS. The objective of this study was therefore to compare the LDS of SW and BW in healthy individuals and to analyze the intrasession repeatability. Forty participants traversed a 70 m indoor corridor wearing normal shoes in one trial and walking barefoot in a second trial. Trunk accelerations were recorded with a 3D-accelerometer attached to the lower back. The LDS was computed using the finite-time maximal Lyapunov exponent method…. [It] seems that BW can be used to evaluate LDS without introducing bias as compared to SW, and with a sufficient reliability.”

terrier_philippeBONUS (unrelated): A different Professor Philippe Terrier: