Saturday, May 3, 2014

The neverending shoe debate: just stick with what's comfortable?

In the neverending debate on running shoes, there are multiple camps: go barefoot, go minimalist, get fitted for stability and/or pronation control if necessary, and so on. Could it be as simple as wear what feels most comfortable? That's what is being reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Well, sort of.

A 2010 study showed that "[a]ssigning shoes based on the shape of the plantar foot surface [] had little influence on injuries."

The reporter couldn't resist, however, the journalistic imperative to include viewpoints from all sides, so of course there is an interview with a running shoe saleswoman:
[Liz] Foster, who is a serious runner herself, agrees that comfort is the overriding factor. But she rejects the notion that shoes do not prevent injuries.

"Anecdotally, I've seen a lot of injuries from bad shoes," she said. Runners who come to her complaining of knee and ankle pain get the proper shoes and return six months later feeling better.
I've been lucky enough not to have been "diagnosed" as needing any fancy stability or pronation control shoes, and now that I think about it, I guess I do more or less pick shoes based on how they feel. When I last tried new shoe models (because of the significant redesign of the Nike Air Pegasus), the Brooks Glycerin 11 felt so much better than the other two pairs I tried that it was an easy decision.

Um, I might also be influenced by shoe colors . . . .

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