Running shoes: You don’t get what you pay for

From MedPage Today:

Lower-cost running shoes provide as good or better protection for the foot as high-priced shoes…

Plantar pressure measured using a specially designed insole was not significantly different when wearing shoes that cost less than $100 than it was with shoes that cost more than $150, said Rami J. Abboud, M.D., of the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School…
Although the shoes varied in terms of the amount of cushioning provided to different parts of the foot, the authors concluded that “performance, in terms of cushioning, is not related to cost. In fact, plantar pressure was lower overall in low- and medium-cost shoes than in high-cost shoes.”

Moreover, although those differences in plantar pressure were small, the investigators speculated that the difference could become important over time with repetitive impact loading. “This may suggest that less expensive running shoes not only provide as much protection from impact force as expensive running shoes, but that in actual fact they may provide more,” they wrote.

If you’re spending more for protection from foot injuries, you may not be getting what you pay for. On the other hand, if you’re paying for status and cool factor, you are probably doing fine.

October 11, 2007

3 thoughts on “Running shoes: You don’t get what you pay for”

  1. One serious flaw of this study is that cushioning isn’t benefical for most runners. 80% of people are overpronators, which call for a more stable motion control that have to sacrify some cushioning. A very cushioned shoe may prevent plantar pressure, but it could lead to serious ankle and knee joints problems.

  2. I’m of the buy less expensive shoes more frequently school of thought.

    The springy insole goes way before the outside does.

    I think if you know what to look for that you can find shoes for pronators in the under $100 range.

  3. I can usually tell right when I put on a pair if they’ll last and provide the comfort and support I need, invariably it is the more expensive

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