REVIEW

Why You’re Overthinking Your Running Shoes, According to Science


Image of the article titled Why You & # 39;  re overthinking your running shoes, according to science

picture: Lysenko Andrey (stock struggle)

Footwear traditions, of dubious origin, are widespread in jogging communities. You need to get the right shoe for for you feet, one school of thought goes. (This requires an evaluation at your local running store.) Another idea is that you either need to wear simple shoes, or you should Start Wear simple shoes. Yet another opinion says that if you have any aches, pains, or injuries, your shoes are likely to be the culprit. But none of these ideas have any strong scientific backing. Do Our Shoes Really Define Injury Risk? a New Cochrane review Asking this question, he got a huge mockery.

The review looked at studies that compared different types of shoes. To define some terms: Motion control shoes are intended to correct the tendency of the feet to roll inward too much (“hyper-rolling”). Stability shoes are similar, intended to reduce that movement somewhat. Neutral shoes don’t try to alter the striking motion of your foot in any particular direction. Cushioned shoes are neutral shoes with added cushioning. Simple shoes have a bit of cushioning, and are meant to be a foot covering that doesn’t interfere with movement. Then there are shoes with a stiffer, softer midsole. Each type of shoe has its proponents who say that choosing the right shoe will reduce your chances of injury.

If shoes were as important for injury prevention as we thought, the review would have found that injury rates track shoe choice. But instead, a meta-analysis of 12 studies that included more than 11,000 participants found nothing really practical. Among the results:

  • Do neutral/cushioned shoes cause more or less injuries than plain shoes? The authors wrote that shoe choice “may make little or no difference,” and there’s not even clear agreement on which runners prefer the style more. (In one study, people were more satisfied with simple shoes, and in another study, the opposite.)
  • Do motion control shoes cause more or less injuries than neutral/cushioned shoes? “It is uncertain…because the quality of the evidence has been assessed as very low with certainty.” In other words, studies do not give a clear answer.
  • Do shoes with a soft midsole cause more or less injuries than those with a hard midsole? Soft midsole shoes may or may not make a difference in the number of runners who sustain a lower limb injury while running. When compared to solid midsole shoes.”
  • Do stabilizing shoes cause more or less injuries than neutral/cushioned shoes? “It is uncertain whether stability shoes reduce the number of runners who suffer a lower extremity injury while running When compared to neutral/quilted shoes.”
  • Do stability shoes cause more or less injuries than motion control shoes? “It is uncertain whether motion control shoes reduce the number of runners with a lower extremity running injury When compared to stability shoes.”
  • And finally, the big question: Does prescribing shoes based on foot type reduce injury? “There was no evidence that running shoes prescribed based on fixed foot position reduced the number of injuries compared to those given shoes not prescribed based on foot position in military recruits.”

Cochrane reviews are highly regarded as being able to settle such questions to the best of the current capacity of science. And that, with all his data points, he wasn’t able to deduce Which Shoe category reduces injury compared to others. Furthermore, they found that there is no evidence that you can reduce injury by finding the right shoe for you.

The results come with a big grain of salt. Reviews are only as good as the studies they review. As the authors note, many of the studies available to them were “low certainty.” then so possible That one type of shoe is better than another, but if so, the difference wouldn’t be significant enough to show in the results.

One exception is the part about describing shoes based on the type of foot. This one is on a more solid foundation, with what they call “moderate certainty” evidence. In other words, this supports the idea that it might be you no You need to have your feet assessed by a professional just to know which shoes to buy.

So what running shoes should I buy?

Of all the hypotheses addressed in this study, the only one that really escapes unharmed is the idea that you should run in whatever shoe feels good. We’ve said the same thing here at Lifehacker Almost a decade agoAnd that’s also what you’ll hear from a lot of good running coaches.

This does not mean that impossible The choice of shoe affects the risk of injury. It is possible that better designed studies will be able to identify subtle differences between shoe types as they are assigned to different classes of runners.

In the end, I would say that if you are satisfied with your shoes, there is no need to change anything. But I would also like everyone to do it please Stop telling new runners they need to wet their feet and check their footprints to see what type of foot they have. I would like multiple Like for people to stop blaming shoes for running injuries without also thinking about other factors that can lead to the injury. For example, the amount of running you do, the type and intensity of running you do and other factors such as Whether you strength exercises It probably has more to do with your injury risk than your choice of footwear.

I’ve written before about the issues I had with running shoes when I first started, and how I spent years as an intermittent runner with unexplained foot pain, despite buying an expensive pair of motion control shoes I was driving thinking I needed. In the end, what worked was Trust my intuition And back to the same shoe style I was talking about earlier because presumably it wasn’t supportive enough. (I ended up running a pain-free marathon in these kind of shoes.)

In many areas of fitness, people build a lot The details that don’t matter much in the long run. Shoe companies need to convince you that their new shoes are better than what you’re wearing now. The department of stores and publications must convince you that you need their expertise. But you can also try on some shoes and see what you like, and go with it without feeling guilty.


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