• Good stuff. Seems to confirm what I have been thinking for years. 
    Though apparently not everybody in the comments seem to agree.

    If I look at my personal experiences with running shoes, this research confirms my own believes.

  • First thought: the runner in the cover image has crossover gait issues :-p

    Second thought: I've run in literally every type of traditional shoe (neutral, stability, motion control, lightweight, etc.) and have dealt with injuries.  I decided to try minimal shoes because I have nothing to lose.  The fact that I've had injuries in these, too, implies that there's a bit of truth to the idea that it doesn't really matter which type of shoe you run in.
  • Truth is probably somewhere in between.
    I think most of the time motion control or whatever isn't necessary at all, but it could definitely be a solution for some. I think at some point the whole industry got caught up in trying to correct everybody to fit some ideal image, which just doesn't exist. Nature is chaos.
  • I ran for about a year or two (including one half marathon) in whatever shoes I could find that were cheap and looked good and never experienced any injuries, but did have some discomfort at times. When I got serious and went to a running store, they said I was a slight overpronator and I got a pair of Saucony Mirage 2s. Aside from feeling great, they carried me through my first marathon with no injuries. Since then, I've tried more minimalist shoes, the Bare Access 2 specifically, and after 250+ miles developed some injuries like soreness in one midfoot and ankle issues. This could be due to the minimal cushioning or it could have been doing too much too fast (I experimented with two-days a bit), but this week I went back to the Mirages and my nagging injuries already feel better. From all that, my take on all this is to go with whatever works, and when you find a shoe that's comfortable and works well, hope the company doesn't change it too much!
  • I think the problem stems from the fact that we are taking something that is relatively complex (the running gait) and involves not only the foot, but the ankle, knee, and hip joints plus muscles in the legs, back, and abdomen and reducing it down to only looking at what the foot as viewed from behind is doing at impact.  So while a stability device in a shoe or an orthotic may control the motion at the foot, it isn't necessarily addressing the real cause for the observed over or underpronation and may in fact be causing problems in other areas of the body.

    What I really hope comes out of this new way of thinking about running shoes that is going on now is that there will be an increase in emphasis on total body gait analysis, done by competent professionals (not salespeople working in a running store) with a view toward correcting gait problems through muscle strengthening, modifications of running form, etc. and then prescribing a shoe that will work best for the person's foot type, gait, etc.

  • Dan's got it right on the do what works for you.  I've seen people that I think could do better if they'd lighten their shoes or maybe work on their form, but they have been running almost as long as I have been alive--a lot of that time, non-stop for injuries.  If you are happy and healthy and running, I say do whatever works.  What works for me doesn't work for you.

    The opposing attitude is what initially kept me from trying minimal shoes for a LONG time.  Some folks (especially the early adopters) treat it like it's a religion.
  • A personal religion to me ;)
  • The problem with that study is that they looked at a static measure of pronation, and what we do when actually running doesn't really match that well with what our feet do when not moving. That being said, I think the whole pronation system is a waste of time unless you have a specific injury that might be caused by excessive pronation (e.g., posterior tibial tendon issue). What's more, the idea that shoes can even control pronation is questionable, the shoe might not roll in when viewed from behind, but the foot will still pronate inside the shoe. I agree with what Sleepyhead wrote.
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