Archive for the tag - shoes

Specialized Running Shoes Don’t Reduce Injury Risk.

Screen-shot-2010-09-01-at-3.52.49-PMIf you’ve ever been to a running store, you’ve probably noticed an extensive selection of specialized shoes. The salespeople are often trained to examine your foot type, and then make recommendations based on your arch. There are shoes for high, low or normal arches with specialized midsoles and cushions; the idea is that these arch-specific shoes reduce the injury risk of the runners who wear them.

But is this true?

It’s a question that the U.S. military asked before investing in arch-specific shoes for their soldiers.

In a subsequent study involving male and female marine recruits, researchers divided participants into two groups. In the first group, marines were given shoes specific to their arch type. In the second group, marines were given a stability shoe regardless of their arch type. The study controlled for other known injury risk factors including smoking, prior fitness level, etc.

After crunching the data, researchers discovered that there was little difference in injury risk. And in other related studies on the same subject, researchers actually found a slightly elevated risk of injury in arch-specific running shoes.

Instead of listening to salespeople or buying into marketing hype, experts agree that the best way to find a running shoe is to try it on and take it for a spin. If there is pain or discomfort, try a different shoe. If it feels right, trust your body and buy it.


Calculate How Long Your Running Shoes Should Last.

The sniff test is not the best way to determine your shoe's expiration date.

Old or worn-out running shoes could set you up for injury. With each mile, shoes slowly lose their shock absorption ability and the stability is compromised. Much of this can happen even before the shoe’s treads wear out; your shoe may still look new even though it’s in need of replacement.

Here’s how to calculate how long running shoes should last you:

  1. Add up your typical weekly mileage. I run 18.75 miles per week.
  2. If you are an avid runner, divide 400 by your weekly mileage. If you’re not an avid runner, divide 500 by your weekly mileage. For me, I need to divide 400 by 18.75. The result is 21.33.
  3. Divide this number by 4. For me, the result is 5.33.
  4. This is the number of months that running shoes will last for you.

In other words, I need to replace my running shoes about twice a year. Since my last pair was purchased in March, I’m definitely overdue.

Here’s a quick tip to make things easier: Write your shoe’s expiration date on the inside of each shoe with a permanent marker. And when you get a new pair, remember to do the same. It’s an easy way to remember when it’s time for a replacement.

Are you running with worn out shoes? According to this formula, how often do you need to replace yours?