When you walk into a shoe shop, you’ll see a lot of options for different types of shoes. But the type of shoe doesn’t really have an effect on whether or not you get injured. According to the BBC, it’s best to just find a pair that’s comfortable.
Photo by Jack Newton.
The BBC took a look at a wide range of studies from the last few years. Based on current research, it found that the type of shoe you wear is basically irrelevant in injury prevention:
The author of the Danish study, Rasmus Nielsen, from Aarhus University, says clinicians should focus their advice on training, distance, duration and intensity, rather than shoe choice. In the meantime the results of a study by Benno Nigg from the Human Performance Lab at the University of Calgary suggests that if running shoes feel comfortable they may reduce the risk of injury. His team gave soldiers a choice of six different shoe inserts of various hardness, elasticity and shape of the arch and heel cup. They were then asked to keep diaries of any injuries over the next four months. Nielsen found that whichever insole they chose, injuries were lower than among participants in a control group who ran without insoles. The inserts varied a great deal in their shock absorption, so what seemed to matter was comfort.
We’ve talked about the differences between different shoe types before and our conclusion was the same: grab a pair that’s comfortable and stick with them.
Do special running shoes help prevent foot injury? [BBC Future]