Science

Thick calluses dont make feet any less sensitive

The tender feet of the shoe-clad are no better at sensing the ground than the callused soles of the barefoot.

Calluses, skin thickened by rubbing against other surfaces, would seem to offer protection at the expense of sensitivity. But that isnt what Harvard University human evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman has experienced when he runs barefoot in summer.

As Liebermans calluses get thicker, “it [doesnt] hurt as much to run — I could step on acorns and other things,” he says. “But I never felt like I lost sensory perception.”

To explore why, Liebermans research group and colleagues in Germany and Africa measured the thickness of calluses on the feet of 81 adults in western Kenya. The participants, a mix of city and country dwellers, ranged from full-time shoe wearers to those who were usually or always barefoot.

The researchers measured how sensitive participants foot soles were with a small device that applied pressure to the skin. When participants felt a poke from the device, they pressed a button. The results of the experiment failed to Read More – Source

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