Champlain Primary Care Digest

Home » Sport & Exercise Medicine » Running Shoe Myths and New Paradigms

Running Shoe Myths and New Paradigms

muddy running shoesI find myself often confused both personally and professionally about running shoe selection. I have found myself in the shoe store looking at the different options and unsure what they mean – support, cushioning, lightweight, minimalist and barefoot – and which is best for myself and my patients.

Thankfully a new article from the British Journal of Sports Medicine looks to address common myths and propose two new paradigms in running shoe selection with regards to injury prevention.

Take home points from the article are:

  1. Issues such as impact forces and foot pronation, previously felt to be implicated in running injuries, have not been supported in the literature
  2. An individual’s skeleton attempts to stay in the same movement path (that person’s preferred movement path) for any given task such as a heel-toe strike
  3. Shoes that support an individual’s preferred movement path are thought to lead to less injuries (the preferred movement path paradigm)
  4. Athlete self-selection of a comfortable product using his/her own personal measure of comfort reduces the risk of injury (the comfort paradigm)

BJSM Article: Running shoes and running injuries: myth busting and a proposal for two new paradigms: ‘preferred movement path’ and ‘comfort filter’ (BM Nigg, J Baltich, S Hoerzer and H Enders, Br J Sports Med July 28, 2015)

Written by: Jody Murray BPHE/BSc, MD, CCFP (Sport Medicine Fellow PGY3)

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