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A study reported by Science Daily, where I attempt to keep up with useful or just interesting research, shows that running shoes are worse for your joints (ankles, knees, and hips) than walking in high heels. I gave up high heels decades ago, and never understood athletic shoes of any sort. I grew up going barefoot when my mother would let me (she had a complicated rule that, among other things, said never before May 1, and then only if it was above 70) and wearing what were referred to as sneakers or tennis shoes, even though most wearers never set foot on a court, in warm weather and loafers or oxfords all winter.
A highlight of summer was to go get a brand-new dazzling white pair of sneakers at O.J. Morrison’s department store. The old pair was saved to ruin in the fall Baptist Youth Fellowship weekend retreat tug-of-war across a red-clay mud pit at the 4-H Camp. The new pair, coated frequently with white liquid shoe polish, with a distinctive chalky smell, turned into band uniform shoes at the end of the summer. There were bands who wore white bucks, but they were too pricey for us, so only our drum-major had them.
Anyway, new-fangled athletic shoes with all their padding always seemed like huge and hot encumbrances to me. I had a pair or two, the lightest and thinnest I could find, for camping and hiking in rocky places. Mostly I went barefoot or in Birkenstocks when not at work (and eventually at work). Now I wonder whether it saved me from the knee and even hip replacements so many people my age seem to be having.