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  1. #1
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Default Running Shoes: Increase price tag -> increase injury

    The painful truth about trainers: Are expensive running shoes a waste of money? | Mail Online

    My favourite parts
    The modern running shoe was essentially invented by Nike. The company was founded in the Seventies by Phil Knight, a University of Oregon runner, and Bill Bowerman, the University of Oregon coach.

    ...

    In between writing and coaching, Bowerman came up with the idea of sticking a hunk of rubber under the heel of his pumps. It was, he said, to stop the feet tiring and give them an edge. With the heel raised, he reasoned, gravity would push them forward ahead of the next man. Bowerman called Nike's first shoe the Cortez - after the conquistador who plundered the New World for gold and unleashed a horrific smallpox epidemic.

    It is an irony not wasted on his detractors. In essence, he had created a market for a product and then created the product itself.
    In a paper for the British Journal Of Sports Medicine last year, Dr Craig Richards, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in Australia, revealed there are no evidence-based studies that demonstrate running shoes make you less prone to injury. Not one.
    Runners wearing top-of-the-line trainers are 123 per cent more likely to get injured than runners in cheap ones. This was discovered as far back as 1989, according to a study led by Dr Bernard Marti, the leading preventative-medicine specialist at Switzerland's University of Bern.
    Running in muddy terrain

    ...

    It wasn't even body weight or a history of previous injury. It was the price of the shoe. Runners in shoes that cost more than $95 were more than twice as likely to get hurt as runners in shoes that cost less than $40.
    To extend the idea... Just think of all the different type of insoles we have in the market for "protecting" our feet, relieving pain... gel shock absorbers etc.
    My stuff (design & other junk) lives here: http://nnbox.ca

  2. #2
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Wow, very interesting.

    What's really interesting is that these shoes may in fact be causing the issues that some people have with over-pronation or supination... which to me was the main justification for a specialized trainer in the first place!

    EDIT: Crap, I just noticed this is from the Dailymail. I'm going to have to really look at this article much more closely, because my skepticism just went up +100 points.
    Last edited by Udog; 04-21-2009 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Noticed article source

  3. #3
    Senior Member professor goodstain's Avatar
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    I've found that most soles are one size fits all. I oversupinate to the point that my feet could be classified as introverts. What i do is take the sole to a grinder and grind down (yet still maintain a natural plane) the part i won't wear down over time. What that did was correct the collapse (heal strike) to the extent that i avoid accute injuries such as chondromalacia
    everyone uses every function about evenly. take NE for example. if there are those who don't use it much, then why are there such massive amounts of people constantly flowing through Wallmart with 20 items or less?

  4. #4
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    To extend the idea... Just think of all the different type of insoles we have in the market for "protecting" our feet, relieving pain... gel shock absorbers etc.
    I only scanned it, but off the top of my head;

    1) More expensive shoes = more miles ran (more serious about running)
    2) More expensive shoes = 'pro golfer' syndrome, where those that jump into it spend lots of money rather than learn proper technique/etc.
    3) Higher priced shoes can be luxury items and offer less benefit - there are two assertions that need to be validated.
    4) Higher priced shoes are experimental (notably 25 years ago)

    Also, a lack of studies supporting the hypothesis is different than no studies being done - I'm not sure which the article is putting forth.

    Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised from the outcome. There are lots of things that are like this.

  5. #5
    Babylon Candle Venom's Avatar
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    well im gonna call foul on this study (though i fully admit that i didnt read it haha)

    i wear Asiics (spelling?). i was originally running in Adidas Superstar IIs (low cut, flat sole shoes) and i was getting horrible shin splints, my foot was rolling in. i tried "correcting it" with running form alone, strengthening the tibalies anterior etc and my shin splints would not go away.

    with the asiics the pain has gone away. is my finding scientific? no. however, i can infer that the cushyness of the shoe + the stronger instep of the shoe are probably reasons for my recovery.

    running barefoot on grass = least injuries
    sadly some of us dont have that luxury of running barefoot on grass. for people who run on hard surfaces, running shoes help, a lot.

  6. #6
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    EDIT: Crap, I just noticed this is from the Dailymail. I'm going to have to really look at this article much more closely, because my skepticism just went up +100 points.
    Hah! You know, I didn't notice until you've mentioned it. I glance through some of their articles and a lot of them are way out there. Skimming through the health section, the facts they stated are correct... their interpretations though can be biased...

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    I only scanned it, but off the top of my head;

    1) More expensive shoes = more miles ran (more serious about running)
    2) More expensive shoes = 'pro golfer' syndrome, where those that jump into it spend lots of money rather than learn proper technique/etc.
    3) Higher priced shoes can be luxury items and offer less benefit - there are two assertions that need to be validated.
    4) Higher priced shoes are experimental (notably 25 years ago)

    Also, a lack of studies supporting the hypothesis is different than no studies being done - I'm not sure which the article is putting forth.

    Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised from the outcome. There are lots of things that are like this.
    They cited results from what looks like a scientific journal (I didn't check their primary sources). So I assumed mileage, intensive of running etc has been counter-balanced.

    Lack of support for hypothesis does not prove or disprove it. True. Just amusing in the paragraph that follows that says a scientist sent a challenge to all the shoe manufacturers to demonstrate their shoes help reduce injuries through the use of proper randomize/blinded studies and gotten no response back.

    Edit: I find this paper comparing cost of running shoes to performance values. Study design was perfect... The stats they did was flawless. Pilot testing, power analysis, P-value corrections etc... They found price had no effect on plantar pressure and is not correlated to subjective rating of comfort.

    Do you get value for money when you buy an expensive pair of running shoes? -- Clinghan et al., 10.1136/bjsm.2007.038844 -- British Journal of Sports Medicine

    There's also an accompanying eLetter
    BJSM -- eLetters for Clinghan et al., 0 (2007) 200703884
    My stuff (design & other junk) lives here: http://nnbox.ca

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Edit: I find this paper comparing cost of running shoes to performance values. Study design was perfect... The stats they did was flawless. Pilot testing, power analysis, P-value corrections etc... They found price had no effect on plantar pressure and is not correlated to subjective rating of comfort.
    No such thing But that's certainly good enough for me. I'm not surprised.

    Course, higher prices could be because of longevity or specific needs. Or just market segmentation, and human price biases. (I'm betting on "price heuristic" personally)

  8. #8
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    No such thing But that's certainly good enough for me. I'm not surprised.

    Course, higher prices could be because of longevity or specific needs. Or just market segmentation, and human price biases. (I'm betting on "price heuristic" personally)
    I think we're simply deluding ourselves that more expensive = better quality.
    My stuff (design & other junk) lives here: http://nnbox.ca

  9. #9
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I don't own running shoes. But as far as normal shoes go.

    I got a pair of very expensive hand-crafted shoes, and putting them around my feet is like having sex. The very first time I slipped them around my curvy feet, sliding my toes to the very depths of the shoes, I knew that I had met my feet's soulmates.

  10. #10
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    I believe this. I've experimented with many different expensive running shoes over the years, and even though a pair might feel incredible at first, they soon start to hurt me. The pain is usually reflected in my knees, or in my shins as shin splints. I now have the idea that this is because they are messing up my biomechanics.

    Some of the best running shoes I've ever owned are a pair of Nike Free. Running in these has changed my view on running altogether. Previously, I would get up to a decent mileage, then stop and move on to another sport because I was developing pain which I was afraid would lead to injury. I would throw the shoes in a closet, until I decided I wanted to get back into running where I'd end up trying a new pair of shoes. However, with the Frees, the more mileage I get on my feet, the farther I can run and the stronger my feet become.

    I don't believe this is coincidence. Just look at the Tarahumara who's lifestyle revolves around running as transportation. They'll run over 100 miles in a single day with nothing on their feet but simple rubber tire tread for protection.

    Our bodies evolved to be efficient machines as they were designed. It's our lifestyles and accessories that interfere with nature, and cause the problems that we try to fix with expensive shoes and specialty insoles.

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