The concept development for the shoe selection based on the foot mechanics dated back to the mid of the 19th century. It was recommended to the runners to wear shoes that match their foot architecture. But various studies have raised questions whether running shoe technology is what it claims to provide or is a specific foot type evident of injury or not? This blog points towards any rationale for running shoe technology theory.
These running shoes are being used for decades. Road running shoes can be divided into three types:
1- Motion Controlled Shoes:
They are designed for the people with flat feet or overpronation. Runners having this foot type tend to transfer the impact of force causing the foot to rotate abnormally causes uneven force transfer. To avoid the excess rotation of foot, motion controlled shoes provides a rigid control that prevents excess rotation.
2- Stability Shoes:
For the people having medium or normal arched feet, stability running shoes are suggested. During the running, the foot rolls inward, it is a natural reaction indicate the normal foot type. A rigid support and cushion are provided in the stability shoes, making the running action more supportive.
3- Cushioned Shoes:
This type of foot experiences low rotation when the foot bears the impact. To relieve the underpronation and shock on the joints, cushions in these shoes absorb the shock. These shoes are more flexible and allow natural pronation during the physical activity.
Some questions are discussed here to review the studies and get the conclusion about the benefits of running shoes.
Are These Medical Evidence of Injuries Due to Pronation?
It has been thought that there is a relation between the type of foot and pronation as a risk factor for injury. However, studies showed that there is no actual link between pronation and foot injury. Experiments prove that runners get injuries from training errors and dysfunction in hip musculature more than solely foot architecture.
Is There No Term As ‘IDEAL’ Foot Structure?
All the individuals have the varying anatomy of subtalar joints (joint where pronation and supination occur). As every person has variable anatomy, the functions cannot be the same for every individual, therefore, there is no such term as optimal or ideal foot structure. The foot alignments are reported to be different for each person. Hence the shoes that are claimed to comfort certain foot types prove to be not true.
Is Wet Foot Test Measures The Dynamic Functions?
In the literature, several different types of methods are assessed for arch height, foot shape, or foot posture. The conclusions from studies showed that there is no relation between foot architecture to dynamic functions.
Is The Running Shoe Technology Provides What It Claims For?
The technology provides special shoes of two kinds, one with the wide and rigid sole and other with cushioning. It is revealed from the research conducted in 2010 that the benefits from cushioned shoes to certain foot type are not evidence-based. Various studies showed that soft shoes cause more pronation problems leading to injuries. Hard sole shoes reduce the speed of pronation but do not stop the injury occurrence. It has been said from above-mentioned research that sports shoes add to comfort while running but do not prevent runners from injuries.
Researchers suggested the simple conclusion that foot alignment varies from person to person leading to different functional activity during running. This clears that why these runner shoe suite to one but ineffective for others. Comfort is the only factor behind runner shoe technology and there is no such evidence of ending the risk of injuries with running shoes.
Dr Sami is an experienced podiatrist in Dubai having a keen interest in sports-related injuries. He is expert in treating fungal infections of toes and inflammations of foot problem related tendons and ligaments.