The bare foot plantar pressures were compared to in-shoe pressure measurements in 11 normal male volunteers using the EMED system. Shoes diminished pressures and forces in most areas under the foot except the medial forefoot. the hallux showed less force, a smaller contact area and a reduced contact time. Therefore a shoe can interfere with the toe-off mechanism. There was no difference between various types of shoes with rubber and leather soles. Heavier subjects tended to put less weight on the medial forefoot.