One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Thursday, March 12, 2009

"No Evidence" on Running Shoe Safety

Note: For my minimalist and barefoot running friends, this is not new news at all. BFT

By Danny Rose, Australian Herald Sun

AUSTRALIAN joggers are being warned there's no hard science underpinning what they wear on their feet.

Scientists at the University of Newcastle wanted to find independent studies on the safety of sneakers that have cushioned heels and other features to prevent the ankle rolling in.

Dr Craig Richards said an analysis of the global pool of sports medicine research turned up nothing relating to the commonly used, and recommended, sports shoes.

"Since the 1980s, distance running shoes with thick, heavily cushioned heels and features to control how much the heel rolls in, have been consistently recommended to runners who want to avoid injury,'' Dr Richards said.

"We did not identify a single study that has attempted to measure the effect of this shoe type on either injury rates or performance.

"This means there is no scientific evidence (the) shoes provide any benefit to distance runners.''

Dr Richards said Dutch researchers had previously found between 37 and 56 per cent of recreational runners become injured at least once each year.

These injuries mainly affected the runners' legs and feet, and Dr Richards said the standard preventative recommendation was to wear what was called a PCECH shoe - a sneaker with pronation control to prevent the ankle from rolling in and an elevated cushioned heel.

"Not only can we no longer recommend a PCECH shoe, but the lack of research in this area means that we cannot currently make any evidence-based shoe recommendations to runners.

"To resolve this uncertainty, running shoes need to be tested like any other medical treatment, in carefully controlled clinical trials.''

Dr Richards' findings are published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Link to story above:


Also, more information about the Dr. Craig Richards can be found in this article:

Aussie study challenges claims for hi-tech running shoes

And here is a link to his British Journal of Sports Medicine article:

Is your prescription of distance running shoes evidence based?




Anonymous Scott Mark said...

Ted - thanks for highlighting this, I'm always on the lookout for more official backup on this issue, since the perception is so ingrained.

Loving my huaraches, BTW - thanks!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Blogger TrailGrrl said...


Thanks for this. I was the only person on the trail at the wetlands today going barefoot. Actually, it wasn't my intention to go completely barefoot but I had put my Vibram Five Fingers in another carrying bag that I had taken out of the car. So I took my Montrail trail running shoes and a pair of socks. The warm blacktop of the bike path felt good, since this was one of our first warm days (shorts!) so I decided to carry my shoes and socks until I got to the bench near the trail. I ended up just not putting them on at all and doing a nice little hike. My only goal today was to be outside. The dirt felt great, even though I was a little tentative at first. The only bad stuff is the mulch they put down, which is actually pretty sharp and some pieces are really chunky like rocks. So those parts were slow.

I made sure the Five Fingers were in the right bag this time with my trail stuff (in case I want to change clothes and just go outside) that I keep my bike helmet, shoes, shorts, and gloves in. So that way I can ease back into trail running.

My goal this summer is to just play outside and enjoy fitness. The muddy parts that were still just a bit wet felt really good after getting beat up by the mulch. My biomechanics are much better.


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blogger JohnRN said...

Interesting site.
I'm trying to locate a 'hybrid' shoe that has all the protection and look of a regular sneaker/running shoe but is not built up in the heel ( neutral or 'no' heel height ). I have a pair of 'five fingers' for doing elliptical exerciser and Tai Chi, but these aren't practical for work.
Any suggestions?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blogger Brendon said...

Try Inov-8's. Minimalist off-road racing shoe designed to flex with the natural function of the foot. I suggest them for all my clients.

Brendon Mahoney

Friday, September 04, 2009


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