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Picking The Right Running Shoe

November 2nd, 2014 | by Events Staff
Picking The Right Running Shoe

One Of the barefoot movement’s greatest gifts to the sport of running is that it prompted us to reassess some long-held beliefs about shoe fit. For decades we’ve relied on a process that is preoccupied with arch height and pronation/supination to select shoes. It turns out that while this method isn’t completely off-base, it also isn’t entirely evidence-based.

One study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2010 looked at the three main categories of running footwear— neutral, stability and motion control — and found that prescribing shoes based on foot type was an oversimplification. A 2013 study in the same publication showed that runners who were categorized as pronators were not any more likely to get injured when they wore a neutral shoe than a stability shoe. Since those who over-pronate are generally steered away from neutral shoes, this was the opposite of what they expected to find.

“This research is confirming what most in the shoe industry and running industry have known for years,” says Johanna Bjorken, merchandise director for JackRabbit Sports in New York City. “Arch profile is not a good predictor of who will get injured. The wet foot test or arch profile assessments remain popular because they are easy, not because they are right.”

The best running shoe stores will monitor runners in motion to make recommendations.

“Static assessments are only a small part of an exam and dynamic, especially sport-specific movements, are very important,” says Dr. Paul Langer, a Minneapolis-based podiatrist and president of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. Things like impact forces, con- tact time and stride length should all be considered. Still, he says, “Even if a doctor and retailer agree that a runner is pronating significantly, because gait patterns are unique, runners will not respond in systematic ways to footwear changes.”

Read more of this article on Triathlete Europe by clicking here

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