We were born without shoes. A researcher has designed a shoe to imitate barefoot walking.

CHICAGO (AP) – A Chicago hospital is recruiting people with knee pain to test a shoe designed to mimic the mechanics of barefoot walking.

Dr. Najia Shakoor of Rush University Medical Center is researching how footwear changes forces on the knee joints. She’s designed a shoe that’s flat and lightweight with flexible soles.

Study participants will wear the shoes for six hours each day, six days a week, for six months. They must be older than 35 and have knee pain caused by mild or moderate osteoarthritis. They also must be able to walk without assistive devices.

Shakoor’s prior research has shown that barefoot walking puts less of a load on the knees than does walking in conventional shoes.

People interested in the study can contact the research coordinator at 312-563-2968.

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