I just came across a very interesting suggestion that I'd like to pass on to you. It comes from Michael Mezernich, one of the pioneers in neuroplasticity & founder of Posit Science, via the book The Brain That Changes Itself
. Dr. Mezernich postulates that much of our decreased stability as we age comes from the fact that we wear shoes all the time. Perhaps that sounds crazy, but the logic behind it is quite sound. Imagine if your hands were always gloved - over time they would become less sensitive as the region in your brain responsible for processing the information from your hands would become less refined, having been deprived of sufficient input to maintain it. The same might very well happen in your feet; after a lifetime of wearing socks and shoes, the part of your brain that gather and interprets the information from that part of your body would atrophy, and as a result you might become more likely to stumble.
For me, that's just another excuse to dance barefoot in the sun... or the mud.