A few weeks ago I received a phone call regarding foot mechanics and injury risk. The person had taken their son to a shoe store and was fitted for a shoe based on their foot posture. The experience at the store left them concerned about their son’s feet and potential for future injury.
This is a common concern I have heard in the clinic over the years. Which shoes are best for me? Which shoes will reduce my injury risk with running?
While some shoes may be more conferrable for your foot type, there is no evidence to show that they can reduce injury risk. Injury risk reduction is broader than shoe type and foot mechanics. It is more helpful to understand training load, tissue load, and life load/stressors, sleep disruption, and proper nutrition intake for injury risk.
Recently the new Cochrane review was published on running shoes and their effects on lower limb injuries. They included 12 clinical trials which spanned a total of 11,240 participants,
The authors researched whether a certain type of footwear had an impact on developing lower limb injuries.
They reviewed the following types of running shoes:
soft mid sole
hard mid sole
I was pleased to see, the Cochrane review confirms my bias:
“Most evidence demonstrates no reduction in lower‐limb running injuries in adults when comparing different types of running shoes”
“There is no evidence that prescribing footwear based on foot type reduces running related lower limb injuries in adults.”
Essentially choosing running shoes based on cushion, minimalism, or stabilization doesn’t independently affect injury risk.
To read the full review and shoe break down, click here.
Bottom line, choose the shoes that are most comfortable for you to run in!
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