Running shoes and sports injuries: Do the shoes help or hurt?

Running shoes and sports injuries: Do the shoes help or hurt?

Do your research before deciding where to spend your hard earned dollars on running shoes.  A new Danish study contradicts the long-held beliefs about running shoe related damage.

Running Shoes may not be a factor in reducing sports injuries

 

The belief that foot pronation, or rolling inward of the ankles, increases the risk of injury in novice runners and requires correction with special shoes is being challenged by biomechanics experts.

Running shoe sales pitches tailor shoes to people based on providing “stability” shoes that offer support to the feet of people who “pronate,” tipping the ankle toward the inside of the step.

“What you can see if you don’t have the right shoe, if you will, is down the road is some injuries that can plague folks that are pronators, which is the vast majority of us,” said Bryan Smith, a manager at Running Room in Toronto.

The sales strategy has been used for 30 years. An estimated 73 per cent of cross-country runners say compatibility between foot posture and shoe design is the key factor when choosing a running shoe, Danish researchers reported in a recent issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  read full article on CBC.ca

Apparently this debate has been going on for some time as these articles suggest:

The painful truth about trainers: Are running shoes a waste of money? by MailOnline
Custom running shoes might not prevent injuries by Reuters
Running shoes: Solution or the problem? by The Science of Sport

Choose your shoe for comfort or maybe trying running barefoot.

Dr. Gruber agrees. “I always recommend that runners run the way that is most natural and comfortable for them,” she says. “Each runner runs a certain way for a reason, likely because of the way they were physically built. Unless there is some indication that you should change things, such as repeated injury, do not mess with that plan.”  read full article on NYTimes.com

Trust your instincts and do not get oversold.  Your body will let you know what works for you based upon the pain and progress you make.  Get to know your body and understand how your muscle, joints and skeleton systems interact to avoid sports injuries.  The choice is yours.

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