Our research has shown that pressure sensation from the soles of the feet (plantar mechanoreceptors) plays an important role in controlling several key aspects of balancing reactions, particularly during compensatory stepping . As a result, age-related loss of plantar pressure sensation, which is very common, can lead to impaired control of these reactions. However, we have shown that it is possible to compensate for balance impairments resulting from this loss of sensation by using special footwear insoles to facilitate sensation from the perimeter of the sole. To date, we have demonstrated the feasibility of this approach in laboratory studies, and we have obtained a U.S. patent for the design concept. However, it remains to be determined whether the benefits of the footwear persist over the long term, or whether there is a habituation of the effect. Also, we need to determine whether there are any practical problems associated with wearing such footwear, e.g. due to discomfort or irritation of the skin.