Last summer, controversy flared up with renewed vigor – a large-scale study was published in which novice runners took part. Through advertisements in Danish newspapers and gyms, 927 subjects were recruited between the ages of 18 and 65. They were each assessed for pronation, and then all were given the same lightweight shoe with no extra cushioning or raised heels. In fact, many of them were given shoes that shop assistants and other professionals would find unsuitable. Choose the best runners watches too.
During the year, the subjects ran as much as they saw fit, and in total, they ran almost 327 thousand kilometers. A quarter of them was injured, but the type of foot had no effect on the frequency of injury. Among those who ran 20 kilometers or more per week, hyper-pronators were injured even less often than others.
From this study, it can be concluded that the frequency of injuries sustained in conventional sneakers is independent of foot type. However, what would happen if hyper-pronators wore shoes of the appropriate design? It cannot be ruled out that they could have had even fewer injuries. In addition, those who, at the time of the start, were already running in special shoes, were not allowed to participate in the study. Perhaps these runners are the most prone to injury and are helped by their running shoes to avoid damage.
So what should an amateur runner do if neither the benefits nor the harm of special running shoes has been proven? Some people abandon high-tech shoes altogether, the fashion is spreading to run in sneakers with very thin soles or even barefoot. I myself have tried running without shoes, and it gives a feeling of freedom. But this is unlikely to become my habit: I mostly run on the wet and dirty London sidewalks, and not on the sun-drenched beaches. Experts have tried to figure out how barefoot running affects the landing angle of the foot, but again, there has been no serious research on this topic, and we do not know if the absence of shoes helps to avoid injury.
The author of the Danish study described above, Rasmus Nielsen of Aarhus University, says that clinical professionals should focus on training schedules, duration, duration, and intensity, rather than on the choice of footwear.
And Benno Nigg of the Human Opportunity Laboratory at the University of Calgary, Canada, believes that if your shoes are comfortable for you, they are less traumatic. A group of scientists under his leadership gave the soldiers a choice of insoles of one of six types – different thickness, elasticity, and shape. The subjects were asked to keep a trauma diary for the next four months. They found that whichever insoles they chose, they had fewer injuries than the control group, which ran in regular shoes. The insoles chosen by different runners differed greatly in cushioning properties, so it seemed that it was not a question of cushioning, but of comfort.
Craig Richards has this advice for long-distance runners: The ideal type of shoe has not been established, but for those who run and are not injured, it is better not to change the type of shoe. It’s worth looking for a new model only if it hurts to run. Well, for those who are just starting to run, it seems like you need to try on many sneakers and choose the most comfortable ones.
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