A few days ago a friend shared with me an article about running shoes and their effectiveness in reducing injuries. As runners, we always hear how important it is to find the right shoe for our foot. Overpronators need motion control shoes and underpronators need neutral, cushion shoes. I’ve worked at two running shoe stores and this was how we determined what shoe was best for people. Well, it turns out there really isn’t any evidence this is effective.
“But as the military prepared to invest large sums in more arch-diagnosing light tables, someone thought to ask if the practice of assigning running shoes by foot shape actually worked. The approach was entrenched in the sports world and widely accepted. But did it actually reduce injuries? Military researchers checked the scientific literature and found that no studies had been completed that answered that question, so eventually they decided they would have to mount their own.”
So what did the military find after conducting their own studies? Assigning the “right” shoe based on the foot did nothing to decrease injuries, and in fact, “wearing the ‘right’ shoes for their particular foot shape had increased trainees’ chances of being hurt.”
Here is the complete article. It is definitely worth reading.
I’ve gone through a lot of shoes since I started running 11 years ago. Motion control, stability, cushion, minimalist, you name it, I’ve worn it. With every pair of shoe, came an injury. From my own experience, I do not feel that any shoe has done much to keep me off the injured list. What I am finding to be the more helpful is paying attention to my form, using the foam roller, strength training, working on my core, and just paying attention to my body. In other words, taking an overall approach to my running. The more I think about it, the more I believe that one pair of shoes is not going to fix anybody’s running woes. It may work for some people, but I would venture to say those people are in the minority.
Happy Trails and Happy Running,