Runners wearing top-of-the-line trainers are 123 per cent more likely to get injured than runners in cheap ones

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    Apr 20, 2009 4:47 PM GMT
    From a recent article in the Daily Mail.

    The Painful Truth About TrainersRunners 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

    Dr Marti's research team analysed 4,358 runners in the Bern Grand Prix, a 9.6-mile road race. All the runners filled out an extensive questionnaire that detailed their training habits and footwear for the previous year; as it turned out, 45 per cent had been hurt during that time. But what surprised Dr Marti was the fact that the most common variable among the casualties wasn't training surface, running speed, weekly mileage or 'competitive training motivation'.

    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.

    Follow-up studies found similar results, like the 1991 report in Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise that found that 'wearers of expensive running shoes that are promoted as having additional features that protect (eg, more cushioning, 'pronation correction') are injured significantly more frequently than runners wearing inexpensive shoes.'

    What a cruel joke: for double the price, you get double the pain. Stanford coach Vin Lananna had already spotted the same phenomenon.'I once ordered highend shoes for the team and within two weeks we had more plantar fasciitis and Achilles problems than I'd ever seen.

    So I sent them back. Ever since then, I've always ordered low-end shoes. It's not because I'm cheap. It's because I'm in the business of making athletes run fast and stay healthy.'


    Read the whole thing here.
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    Apr 20, 2009 5:59 PM GMT
    I dunno. I think a lot of it has to do with running style/form. I've heard that if you master the POSE running technique, you can pretty much run a full marathon in the crappiest shoes and not get injured.

    I've been wearing the Asics GT series for several years and I'm quite happy. icon_cool.gif
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    Apr 20, 2009 6:03 PM GMT
    xrichx saidI dunno. I think a lot of it has to do with running style/form. I've heard that if you master the POSE running technique, you can pretty much run a full marathon in the crappiest shoes and not get injured.

    I've been wearing the Asics GT series for several years and I'm quite happy. icon_cool.gif


    That was the thing with the article.

    The Stanford running team trains barefoot.
    Coaches for college teams have gotten rid of expensive shoes for the crappiest shoes available with better results and less injury.
    The more expensive the shoe, the more likely injury is (though on the surface I am not so sure on that study).

    From the looks of it, you are wearing pretty basic shoes, and that is exactly what the article wants you to do. Good job. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 20, 2009 9:52 PM GMT
    I wish I read this had been posted a few days earlier. I was trainer shopping and I thought the more expensive ones are safer.
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Apr 20, 2009 11:32 PM GMT
    Statistics can prove anything. It depends on how they worded the survey. Who it was given to. Etc. I will read the full article but I'm doubtful. I would have surveyed a large marathon race (Boston or New York) over *multiple* years. Marathon runners would definitely give you the best data since they pound the pavement more than anyone.

    Also the idea of running barefoot is ridiculous.

    I'll look at the full article...


    UPDATE:
    OK, I've read the article.

    "Nike sponsored the Stanford team as they were the best of the very best. Needless to say, the reps were a little disturbed to hear that Lananna felt the best shoes they had to offer them were not as good as no shoes at all."

    Well, Nike does NOT make great running shoes. I dumped Nike shoes years ago after doing a half marathon in them. They're not made for long distance runs in my opinion. Therefore, buying a higher price Nike running shoe isn't going to help.

    The author seems to imply that Nike running shoes are the top of the line of running shoes. No one that I run with would agree with this.

    "Then there's the secretive Tarahumara tribe, the best long-distance runners in the world."

    Huh?? If this is the case, why the hell aren't they winning the Olympics marathon medals? Or major marathons? C'mon.

    "If anything, the injury rates have actually ebbed up since the Seventies - Achilles tendon blowouts have seen a ten per cent increase."

    What is this based upon?? You can't just throw out facts.

    "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."

    I would have to read this article. What type of injury is he referring to?

    "Is any shoe manufacturer prepared to claim that wearing their running shoes will improve your distance running performance?"

    Well marathon times have dropped. It is better training? Better shoes? Recruiting individuals with the right genetics? It's hard to completely separate them.

    "'Paying several hundred dollars for the latest in hi-tech running shoes is no guarantee you'll avoid any of these injuries and can even guarantee that you will suffer from them in one form or another.'"

    There are no guarantees in life! Unless you're very rich and you get running shoes customed designed exclusively for your feet, the way that you run and the race that you'll be competing in. For the rest of us, wehave to find the best shoe that works with our body. Duh. Of course some features are just for show and to sell the latest model. Again, I can't afford to buy custom running shoes.

    "Dr Marti's research team analysed 4,358 runners in the Bern Grand Prix, a 9.6-mile road race."

    No additional data on how this was determined. One survey of a one particular race doesn't justify universal results. That's bad science.

    "the impact on your legs from running can be up to 12 times your weight"

    What!?! Running causes impacts 12x times your body weight. I don't think so.

    "performed a series of lengthy tests on gymnasts'

    Uh, I have seen any gymnasts winning marathons or competing in the Olympics track and field events. They're different sports.

    "Currently available sports shoes are too soft and thick"

    There are firm running shoes. I know. I wear them (Mizuno Wave Creation). If I can find them, surely some people can.

    "Arthur Newton, for instance, one of the greatest ultrarunners of all time, who broke the record for the 100-mile Bath-London run at the age of 51, never replaced his thin-soled canvaspumps until he'd put at least 4,000 miles on them?"

    Again, you cannot extrapolate from one person to everyone. We're all slightly anatomically different. There's probably a million differences between me and Arthur Newton.

    "That comes from never running in shoes until you're 17.'"

    Well that great that some Kenyan can run barefoot but that's not an option for me. I would like to invite all the barefoot runners to come up here in Boston in January and run with me. Well see how long you last. ;-)

    There are different running shoes because there are different people. Yes, some running shoes features are fluff. They're like any other industry. But I don't see any direct evidence in these articles that cheap running shoes are better for you. This is ridiculous.

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    Apr 21, 2009 1:10 AM GMT
    DAMN! ...I just bought 3 pairs of running shoes and spent $375....does that mean I am more likely to get hurt now, than I was in the past? In the past my shoes were about $75-$80 per pair...icon_eek.gif
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    Apr 21, 2009 1:35 AM GMT
    I disagree wit da article! i do know u get wut u pay 4icon_lol.gificon_eek.gif
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    Apr 21, 2009 2:36 AM GMT
    There are so many different theories, I've read up on some of this. I speak from personal experience, when I say that I think that if one is going to run injury free, all of their running muscles need to be well trained and strong. College runners are going to have weight lifting, sprints, hills, plyos, and other strengthening exercises in their training program. They're also going to be at higher mileage than the average road racer. All of these things build strength, though there is a delicate line between building yourself up and tearing yourself down. Where high school and college runners tend to get injured is by doing all of their runs too fast. Recovery days should be really slow, and long runs are not about speed, they're about time on your feet and endurance. There is the mentality of go hard or go home that coaches drill into their athletes. Another thing is that college athletes run track and cross country. They're more likely to have a lot more soft surface running incorporated because that's what they're racing on whereas the average road racer won't necessarily know that running on sidewalks a lot isn't good, or running on the same side of a road that dips off for the entire run is bad as well. Your average road racer who's just starting out also may not know how to increase their mileage. You should never increase your mileage by more than 10% per week unless you have a good base and are coming off a relatively short break, then proceed with caution. College competitors are typically going to know those types of things because if they come from good high school programs it's been drilled into them since 9th grade. It seems silly to blame the running shoes on lack of knowledge or a good strengthening regimen.

    That being said, the way that a lot of shoes are built supports a heel first footstrike which isn't good according to a lot of people. When you heel strike you run into mechanical problems such as overpronation, supination which means your feet most likely aren't landing symetric to your hips which is the way they should be. When running if one thing is off kilter, it throws everything else off as well. If you run down the hall in your bare feet, you'll find yourself running midfoot or on your toes because it's going to be extremely uncomfortable to land on your heels. If you look at your feet, you'll notice that everything will be better aligned, and you won't be pronating (if you're a pronator). So I understand and agree with what the article says. Running on your mid-foot is more mechanically efficient and it's the way we were built. Changing your footstrike and any other running mechanics for that matter is stressful on the body if done too fast. It's something where the new supporting muscles need to be strengthened to accomodate the workload, and you need to gradually build toward that goal.

    Long story short, both sides have adequate arguments, I really don't think your average pair of running shoes with solid cushioning is going to cause injury. However, I do think some running shoes are really over done, you can take technology to the point of destruction. When coming out with a really advanced shoe manufacturers are doing it because they need something to be their "top of the line" even if it means a few people don't see the starting line.

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    Apr 21, 2009 2:57 AM GMT
    Maybe, people who purchased expensive shoes are less likely to purchase a new pair every 300-400 miles. They may be wearing the same shoe waaaay past its prime, whereas the purchaser of a cheap shoe will take no issue with purchasing another cheap pair sooner. Shoe turnover may be a factor.

    My current pair, which I bought 116 miles ago, cost 120 and I am so pissed off with myself that I spent so much that I may run in them longer than I should.

    PS a $40 shoe! where?!?
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    Apr 21, 2009 5:37 AM GMT
    treader said

    "If anything, the injury rates have actually ebbed up since the Seventies - Achilles tendon blowouts have seen a ten per cent increase."



    I'm distrustful of any article in which the author says that something has "ebbed up."

    OK, I know, that's not the fault of the author of the study. It doesn't reflect on the validity of the study's findings.
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    Apr 21, 2009 5:50 AM GMT
    i dont know - it took a few yrs and a lot of blisters before i found runners that worked for me - Asics gel lytes btw - which have morphed in various ways over the yrs but in all the iterations have worked for me and many many pairs have taken my happy feet through thousands of miles icon_biggrin.gif
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    Apr 21, 2009 7:07 AM GMT
    5537B00B saidMaybe, people who purchased expensive shoes are less likely to purchase a new pair every 300-400 miles. They may be wearing the same shoe waaaay past its prime, whereas the purchaser of a cheap shoe will take no issue with purchasing another cheap pair sooner. Shoe turnover may be a factor.

    My current pair, which I bought 116 miles ago, cost 120 and I am so pissed off with myself that I spent so much that I may run in them longer than I should.

    PS a $40 shoe! where?!?

    I usually wait until a brand new model comes out and then I buy the previous model for cheap. Like the Asics GT-2130, I picked up for $60 at Sports Authority. When it was newly released, it was retailing for about $90+.
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    Apr 21, 2009 7:26 AM GMT
    xrichx said
    5537B00B saidMaybe, people who purchased expensive shoes are less likely to purchase a new pair every 300-400 miles. They may be wearing the same shoe waaaay past its prime, whereas the purchaser of a cheap shoe will take no issue with purchasing another cheap pair sooner. Shoe turnover may be a factor.

    My current pair, which I bought 116 miles ago, cost 120 and I am so pissed off with myself that I spent so much that I may run in them longer than I should.

    PS a $40 shoe! where?!?

    I usually wait until a brand new model comes out and then I buy the previous model for cheap. Like the Asics GT-2130, I picked up for $60 at Sports Authority. When it was newly released, it was retailing for about $90+.


    I do the same every single January and sometimes June if I've been running alot I buy a pair of last season asics for $40-$50 and chuck the old ones...

    I started doing it when a pair of $220 Nike trainers literally fell apart after 3 months...I felt so betrayed I never bought a Nike shoe again
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    Apr 21, 2009 8:23 AM GMT
    hmm i want DG trainers!!! fuck getting hurt, ill use them for fashion and my newbalance for work
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    Apr 21, 2009 11:39 AM GMT
    I will stick with my "expensive" Nike running shoes. I never have knee or foot problems. But with cheaper shoes? Forget it. Mind you I usually only run on a treadmill. Running on concrete in a city is bad news, and since I run at least five days a week, 3 miles a day, the extra investment is worth it.
  • gallus81

    Posts: 350

    Apr 21, 2009 11:56 AM GMT
    If you still believe Nike are the top line runners then yes, you probably will get injuries for the price.

    I pay top dollar for quality shoes simply because they feel comfortable and I no longer get the injuries I used to get when I could only afford the cheap ones.