A top running-shoe expert says sneaker brands are selling a myth about how to prevent injuries

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I think this is all true. I've never bought into the cushioning or pronation control "myth". I've always run in "neutral" shoes that weigh about 11 oz. Something like the Nike Pegasus. But I'm not married at all to a shoe brand. Any shoe that fits my criteria are fine. However, I wouldn't say cushioning is fully a myth. I wouldn't want to log daily miles in 6 oz racing shoes. And I wouldn't want to run barefoot unless you work your way up to it; gradually reducing the cushioning in your shoe until you are ready to run barefoot. But if you move from 16 oz full cushioned shoes to barefoot, you'll get injured.

The problem with cushioning is, it tends to make your striding / planting unstable. Your foot rolls more. I can't wear running shoes "around". So uncomfortable.

As far as the forefoot vs. heel striker debate, what they say is true. A heel striker will take the force into their knees and lower back. A forefoot striker takes the force in the Achilles and calf. I'm an extreme forefoot striker (my heel never even touches the ground) and I have really tight calves for the rest of the day when I run.

But I would say that forefoot strikers will tend to get injured less than heel strikers. Generally, at least for rec runners, forefoot strikers will tend to be more "fluid" and "light" with their stride. Heel strikers are "pounders".

With Tennis shoes, I'm really not picky at all. I just need "basic" support to prevent my foot from turning over, which every tennis shoe has.
 

SlvrDragon50

Semi-Pro
The quickest way to injure yourself is radically changing your running biomechanics whether it's shoe design or footstrike style. We saw a trend towards minimalist shoes probably 5 years ago, and now we are seeing a surge towards cushioned runners.
 

loosegroove

Hall of Fame
From my personal experience, I need shoes with adequate cushioning. Otherwise I get some not so pleasant metatarsalgia.
 

AlexSV

Rookie
I think this is all true. I've never bought into the cushioning or pronation control "myth". I've always run in "neutral" shoes that weigh about 11 oz. Something like the Nike Pegasus. But I'm not married at all to a shoe brand. Any shoe that fits my criteria are fine. However, I wouldn't say cushioning is fully a myth. I wouldn't want to log daily miles in 6 oz racing shoes. And I wouldn't want to run barefoot unless you work your way up to it; gradually reducing the cushioning in your shoe until you are ready to run barefoot. But if you move from 16 oz full cushioned shoes to barefoot, you'll get injured.

The problem with cushioning is, it tends to make your striding / planting unstable. Your foot rolls more. I can't wear running shoes "around". So uncomfortable.

As far as the forefoot vs. heel striker debate, what they say is true. A heel striker will take the force into their knees and lower back. A forefoot striker takes the force in the Achilles and calf. I'm an extreme forefoot striker (my heel never even touches the ground) and I have really tight calves for the rest of the day when I run.

But I would say that forefoot strikers will tend to get injured less than heel strikers. Generally, at least for rec runners, forefoot strikers will tend to be more "fluid" and "light" with their stride. Heel strikers are "pounders".

With Tennis shoes, I'm really not picky at all. I just need "basic" support to prevent my foot from turning over, which every tennis shoe has.
The Nike Pegasus is a good shout. Comfortable and right down the middle in terms of function. It won't bias you towards your forefoot or your heel.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I experienced shin splints with those. It was like running on wooden boards.

:cool:
I’m very sensitive when it comes to running shoes. Years ago I accidentally bought a pair with pronation control. My knee hurt on the first run. Couldn’t return them, so I threw them in the garbage.
 

Kevo

Legend
I just get the cheapest Asics that are not too loud. I usually buy a couple of pair at a time if they are on sale or the price is good. And I might wear my spare pair around for running errands or what not when I want a comfortable casual show. Usually the longest I run is about 4 miles. I tend to take saturday off if I play tennis that day, but it just depends on how I feel. Only running injury I've had was from overuse on one knee because I was running hills too much. It was pretty minor and just required a bit of rest and cycling to be back to normal.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
I think this is all true. I've never bought into the cushioning or pronation control "myth". I've always run in "neutral" shoes that weigh about 11 oz. Something like the Nike Pegasus. But I'm not married at all to a shoe brand. Any shoe that fits my criteria are fine. However, I wouldn't say cushioning is fully a myth. I wouldn't want to log daily miles in 6 oz racing shoes. And I wouldn't want to run barefoot unless you work your way up to it; gradually reducing the cushioning in your shoe until you are ready to run barefoot. But if you move from 16 oz full cushioned shoes to barefoot, you'll get injured.

The problem with cushioning is, it tends to make your striding / planting unstable. Your foot rolls more. I can't wear running shoes "around". So uncomfortable.

As far as the forefoot vs. heel striker debate, what they say is true. A heel striker will take the force into their knees and lower back. A forefoot striker takes the force in the Achilles and calf. I'm an extreme forefoot striker (my heel never even touches the ground) and I have really tight calves for the rest of the day when I run.

But I would say that forefoot strikers will tend to get injured less than heel strikers. Generally, at least for rec runners, forefoot strikers will tend to be more "fluid" and "light" with their stride. Heel strikers are "pounders".

With Tennis shoes, I'm really not picky at all. I just need "basic" support to prevent my foot from turning over, which every tennis shoe has.
TBH you sound like someone blessed with tall arches and feet that shoe makers seem to think that everyone has. For the rest of us, some pickiness is required.

I don't agree with most of what you said, but I agree that too much cushioning does make your feet unstable. I notice this when I wear my Saucony running shoes as daily shoes or on unstable ground. I generally prefer a firmer shoe. However when I am running on asphalt the extra cushioning makes a world of difference. I don't buy into the whole minimalist sneaker or barefoot running hype. The simple fact is shoes were invented for a reason (to protect our feet) and cushioning was put into shoes for a reason (to protect our joints). Just like you can't really train your body to run without food you also can't train your body to run on pavement without some cushioning. I'm sure there are no shortage of people who will tell me how I'm wrong and they've been running barefoot for years without problem. I also know lots of people who smoke and don't have lung cancer. Do some web searching and you will find a clear associatation between minimalist sneakers and foot and leg injuries.


However pronation control is real thing and for those of us with flat feet it is essential. Before I started wearing custom orthotics I would get frequent knee and foot pain just from walking around. Now I am pain free and if I have foot or knee pain it is usually due to a specific injury rather than just "wear and tear"
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
This article is such baloney. There is no evidence that reducing vertical forces reduces injury risk? I guess if you ignore thousands of years of human history and cherry pick sources to back your ludicrous claims.

I will admit I didn't check all of his sources but I'm pretty sure I could find lot's of well regarded sources that say the exact opposite. This is another example of someone going against the flow simply to show everyone how smart they are.
 
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