Running Shoe Myths & Choosing Your Running Shoes
Traditional running shoe prescription was based on matching shoe features to foot type (e.g. motion control shoes for pronated feet).
The belief that wearing the wrong shoe type for your foot leads to injury has led to many footwear trends including minimalist, maximalist, motion control, zero ‘drop’ etc
Unfortunately, there is a lack of good quality evidence that any shoe of any type is effective in reducing the risk of running related injury.
A study by Nigg et al (2015) looked at running injury and shoe selection. Impact characteristics and foot pronation, thought to be prime indicators of running injury, were found to have a distinct lack of conclusive evidence with regards to footwear choice.
Nigg et al proposed 2 new paradigms ‘the preferred movement path’ and ‘the comfort filter’ which suggest that a runner intuitively selects a comfortable product using their own comfort filter that allows them to remain in the preferred movement path which may automatically reduce injury risk.
Tips for choosing a running shoe
Avoid rapid changes to the type of shoe you have become accustomed to running in
Ensure the shoe fits well and is comfortable to run in
If you have several running shoes, rotate these regularly
Wear the correct outsole for the running terrain
What feels ‘right’ for you probably is!
If you’re injury free don’t sweat about which type of shoe is the right one, just go for what feels comfortable, fits well and is appropriate for the terrain. However, if you are currently suffering with a running injury we would advise a professional assessment as certain features in a running shoe can aid recovery from particular injuries.