Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big, Cushy Running Shoes - bunk

I couldn't agree with this paper more. Throw away your big cushy shoes and get yourself some lightweight trainers. Your running technique, and body, will thank you.

Running shoes

The absorption of the shoe prevents injuries by reducing the runners’ shocks on the body.

The clinical and scientific results do not support the fact that shoe absorption reduces the incidence of injuries for a runner.

The absorption of the shoe does not change the stress on the skeleton (bone and cartilage) since the body adapts its behaviour, moderation impact (absorbs more or less by himself), according to the hardness of the shoe.

My opinion
The foot is the organ that connects us to the earth. It informs us about the surface, adapts to its irregularities and absorbs the weight of our bodies. The foot, just like the rest of the body, is a biomechanical marvel that fits ... for better or worse. The shoe is the interface between the body and the earth. An essential interface protects us from the cold and dang erous surfaces... a useless feature for the majority of our daily activities... and an harmful interference for activities involving neurophysiological mechanisms.

Technological development of the running shoe, based on clinical concepts without scientific evidence, exploded in the 1990’s: more absorption to reduce the stress on the bones and integrated technologies to footwear (stabilization system calcaneal, anti-pronator, arch support) to control the foot considered abnormal in its biomechanics. These technological advances which were designed to reduce the incidence of injuries have propelled the shoe to a weight, size and price ever higher. As the shoe is modernized, there is a complex manufacturing phenomenon that is moved to the foot which causes lost of primary tactile sensations by the thickening of the sole. Like the modern and sedentary man, unconditioned to physical dependency, eg maladaptive patterns and mechanical stress, the runner, constantly prot ected, has become lazy. A laziness not only found in the muscles of the feet, but a loss of absorption reflex capacity responsible for the efficient and mechanical protection. The shoe is now the leading cause of impairment in running biomechanics! As for injury prevention, it is disheartening to note that one gets hurt more than before; that the runners that wear shoes are injured more than barefoot runners; and that those who pay more (and therefore better quality footwear with more technology) do not reduce the incidence of injuries.

In terms of performance, the absorption at the heel and its elevation relative to the forefoot has disrupted the whole biomechanics of the racer who, protected from the impact of the ground, is unconsciously converted to a formal initial charge on his heel. In the biomechanics of a modern man comes an ineffective and possibly harmful braking phase.

The appearance of protective footwear has always been appreciated. Sinc e the beginning of times, leather played a shell against pointy rocks, cold and snow. The day fabrication technologies have improved and where new materials were discovered, engineers, influenced by the marketing departments, were swept away with catchy designs. The evolution of the shoe was as important in the past 20 years than in the 4000 antecedent ones.

Blaise Dubois PT, RCAMT, Sport Physio Diploma /

PCN physiothérapie et médecine du sport de la Capitale

4205, 4e Avenue O, suite 103, Québec, CANADA, G1H 7A6

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