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The Truth About Running Shoes

Top end running shoes

Did you know that runners who wear top end running shoes are more likely to get injured than in cheap ones? According to a study led by Dr Bernard Marti, the leading preventative-medicine specialist at Switzerland’s University of Bern reviewed 4358 runners completing a 9.6 mile race. The team learned that the most common variable among the casualties wasn’t running speed, training surface, High Intensity Interval Training, history of previous injury or body weight. It was the actual cost of the shoe. Running shoes that cost more than $95 were more than twice as likely to hurt the runners than in shoes that running shoescost below $40.

most common variable among the casualties wasn’t running speed

Medicine & Science – Sports & Exercise report shared details about runners wearing expensive, highly designed running shoes that had cushioning, pronation correction features. They claimed that the athletes were injured significantly less when wearing inexpensive shoes.

found fewer injuries and faster runs

Nike sponsored a Stanford team as they were the best of the very best with top Coach Vin Lananna. He found that  the supplied Nike high-end shoes showed more plantar fasciitis and Achilles problems in a matter of 2 weeks. So he sent them back. Ever since then, he ordered low-end shoes. He is in the business of making athletes run fast and stay healthy. Lananna believes in training runners barefoot and found that there was fewer injuries and they ran faster.

In northern Mexico in Sierra Madre Occidental is a tribe of indigenous people known as the Tarahumara. Wearing a toga, sandals and known to run ultra marathon distances up to 800 km a week, they are considered some of the finest long-distance runners in the world.

no state of the art running shoes

Living in basic conditions, Tarahumara run with only used tire strips as thongs strapped to their feet. With zero casualty rate, a simple diet of beans and a fermented corn drink, no state of the art running shoes, they are nearly barefoot, and run hundreds of kilometers over rocky terrain at ease injury free.

In this video, Dr. John McDougall explains the Sports Nutrition and Harvard professor of evolutionary biology Daniel Lieberman discusses the shod or barefoot running debate. A $20 billion industry, despite all their marketing and suggestions to the contrary, no manufacturer has ever invented a shoe that is any help at all on injury prevention.

The content in this article is taken from Christopher McDougall’s book ‘Born to Run’

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