Why Jogging Shoes Don’t Work


The running shoe model should be fixed. Pronation, motioncontrol, cushioning, and stability shoes? Get rid of them all.

It isn’t only bare foot running and minimalism versus running shoes, the either/or situation most depict it to become. It’s much deeper than that. It isn’t really that running shoe companies are evil and out to turn a profit. Shoe businesses might be accomplishing the goals that they set out for, however the goals their aiming are perhaps not what have to get done. The paradigm which jogging shoes are based upon is the problem.

Athletic shoes are built up on two fundamental assumptions, impact forces and pronation. Their goals are simple, limit Replica shoes forces and protect against overprontation. This has caused a classification system based on cushioning, stability, and motion control. The dilemma is that this system might not have any ground to stand on. Have we been focused on the wrong things for 40+years?

I’ll start with the usual statistic of 33-56% of runners get injured annually (Bruggerman, 2007). That’s kind of unbelievable when you think about doing it. Since there are tons of injuries going on, let us look at what shoes are all supposed to complete.


As said earlier, shoes are built up on the premise which impact forces and pronation are what cause harms. Pronation, particularly was assembled because the bane of runners. We’ve been inundated with limiting pronation via motion control shoes. The central idea behind pronation is that over-pronating causes turning of the lower leg(i.e. ankle,tibia, knee) putting strain in the joints and therefore resulting in injuries. Athletic shoes are so made to confine this pronation. Essentially, running shoes have been designed and developed to put the human anatomy at”proper” recovery. However, do we really require proper alignment?

This paradigm on pronation is dependent upon two major things: (1)over pronation causes injuries and (two ) running shoes can alter pronation.

Taking a look at the first premise, we can see several studies that usually do not demonstrate a connection between pronation and injuries. In another analysis by Wen et al. (1998), this time around a prospective studythat ” he reasoned that” Minor variations in lower extremity orientation don’t appear conclusively to function as major risk factors for overuse injuries .” Other studies have reached similar conclusions. One by Nigg et al. (2000) demonstrated that foot and ankle movement failed to predict harms in a massive set of runners.

If foot movement/pronation does not predict injuries or isn’t a risk factor for harms, then one needs to question whether the idea is working or sound…

Taking a look at the second premise, do shoes modify pronation? Motion control shoes are designed to diminish pronation through a variety of mechanics. Many elect to add a lateral pole or some similar product. In research by Stacoff (2001)they analyzed several motion control panel devices and found that they didn’t alter pronation and did not change the kinematics of the tibia or calcaneus bones either. Similarly, another study by Butler (2007) found that motion control shoes revealed no real difference in peak pronation when compared to cushioning shoes.

If excess pronation doesn’t cause injuries to the level that everybody thinks, and if motion control shoes don’t even alter pronation, what’s the point of a motion control shoe?


Impact forces are one other significant scoundrel of conducting injuries. The thinking goes like that, the higher the impact force over the lower the leg, the more greater stress the foot/leg happens, which could potentially result in injuries. To combat this panic, running shoes, special cushioning ones, are into the rescue. Let’s have a lookat

The very first question would be, do cushioning shoes do their position?

….But where it paid off pressure varied tremendously. And thus pressure loss varied between forefoot/rearfoot/etc. It must be noted that reduction in pressure was founded on a contrast to another shoe, a tennis coach. I am not sure this is a great control. Ostensibly, this study tells us that cushioned running shoes decrease peak pressure when compared to a Tennis shoe.

In an overview on the topic, Nigg (2000) found that both external and internal impact force peaks were barely or not affected by the athletic shoes midsole. Which usually means the cushioning type does not affect impact drives much, if at all. But how can this be? I mean it’s common sense in the event that you jumped on concrete vs. jumped onto a shoe foam like the shoe surface is thicker right? We are going to get back for this particular question at one minute.

Impact Labs: The picture captures cloudier:

However, it’s not as simple as described previously. In an intriguing study by Scott (1990) they looked over peak loads on the numerous websites of potential injury for runners (Achilles, knee, etc.). All peak loads occurred throughout mid-stance and push off. This led to an important discovering which”the impact force at heel contact has been anticipated to have no influence on the summit force seen at the chronic injury sites,” and caused by speculation which impact induce failed to relate injury development.

Further complicating the impact compel idea is that when looking at injury rates of those running on hard surfaces or soft surfaces, there appears that there is no protective advantage of running on soft surfaces. What’s this? Due to some thing known as pre-activation and muscle corrections that will soon be discussed below.

Supporting this specific data, additional studies have proven that people that have a low summit impact have the same likelihood of being injured as those with a high peak impact force (Nigg, 1997). If you would like to complicate matters further, impact seems to be the driving force between increased bone density.

As a trainer or trainer that this will sound right. The bone responds to the stimulation by becoming more immune to it, in the event the stimulation is not too large and there’s enough recovery.

Under Estimating our Human Anatomy: Effect compels as opinions:

Straight back to this question I asked earlier: How does impact compels not change determined by shoe only softness and why isn’t working on tough surfaces lead to further injuries?

The problem is, once again, we under estimate the human physique! It’s an amazing item, and we not give it the credit it deserves. The body adapts to the top which it’s going to attack, in case you give it a opportunity. Your human body adapts to both shoe and surface correcting impact forces via changes joint stiffness, the method by which the foot strikes, and also a theory called muscle contractions.

A good illustration of this is sometimes seen with bare foot running, the reduced proprioception (sensory feedback) of wearing a shoe interrupts the cushioning of the shoe. Studies utilizing minimal shoes/barefoot have demonstrated that the body appears to accommodate the impact forces/landing predicated on feedback and feedforward data. When conducting or stepping from a jump, the body consumes all the sensory info, and prior adventures, and adjusts to protect itself/land optimally As mentioned above, it does so through a variety of mechanisms. Ergo, you stick some cushioned running shoe on the base of one’s foot and the body moves”Oh, we’re fine, we don’t have to fret about impact too much, we have this soft piece of crap on the foot.

1 concept that needs to be further shared is muscle building tuning. It’s a concept recently suggested by Nigg et al. at 2000. He sees impact force for being a signal or a way to obtain feedback, as I stated earlier. Your human body then uses this advice and adjusts accordingly to minimize soft tissue vibration and/or bone vibration. His contention is that impact force is not the problem, but rather the signal. Muscle tuning is basically controlling these vibrations using many different techniques. 1 potential mechanism is pre-activation. Pre-activation is activation of the muscles prior to impact. In this situation it serves as a method of muscle management to prepare for impact and also could alter muscle stiffness, which is another means to get ready for impact. Pre-activation has been established with multiple EMG studies.

Shoes perhaps not only impact this, but also surface type does too. As mentioned before, the change in conducting surface did not impact injury rates. Why? Probably since the body adapts to functioning surface. Within an intriguing study measuring muscle activity, O’Flynn(1996) found that pre-activation changed based on surface. To get ready for impact, and presumably to minimize muscle/bone vibration, when conducting on tangible pre-activation was very high, when running on a track, perhaps not really much.

What all of this means is that your system adjusts via sensory input. It has several different version procedures. A shoe affects how it adjusts. The shoe is not doing anything to alter cushioning, it is simply altering how the body reacts to impact. It’s really a substantial mindset jump in case you think about this. This is the overview: the kind of shoe and also material of the shoe varies impact NOT as a result of alignment of the leg or because of changes in cushioning. As an alternative it alters impact faculties as it alters the sensory feedback.

In decision the cushioning concept. But exactly what exactly are we attempting to cushion? Heel impact forces have not been demonstrated to link with harms, in reality in 1 study low-impact runners had a 30% injury rate compared to a 20% accident rate in high-impact runners. Shoe midsoles usually do not change, or marginally change impact forces anyway. So, not just may cushioning not be the answer, but the shoes might not likewise be doing their own job. However, what about those shoe studies showing improved cushioning with their newest mid-sole?! Well, most this testing is carried out by using a machine to mimic the effect forces you go through during running. That means, yes it may cushion a direct effect more, however it doesn’t take into consideration the function of your human body correcting impact centered on feedback.

The main reason cushioning does not work? As the body adjusts based on feedback and feedforward info. These results prompted one notable researcher(Nigg,2000) to involve the reconsideration of the cushioning paradigm for running shoes.

Barefoot running?

Quickly, this topic couldn’t be complete without a brief reference of barefoot running. An interesting thing to observe is that the initial peak impact force is absent in barefoot running when comparing to running with shoes. What this means is thatthe impact compels look like (A) for shoes and (B ) ) for bare foot. That very first very little blip in One may be your initial impact force. There’s a hypothesis that this initial impact force is linked to injuries.

A recent study by Squadrone et al.(2009) compared jogging shoes, bare foot runningrunning in Vibram Five Fingers. They exhibited reduced impact forces, briefer ground speed and contact duration, but elevated rate frequency whilst conducting barefoot (and at Vibrams) as compared to running with shoes. This isn’t surprising, but demonstrates running shoes do infact alter our normal strides. An interesting thing is that the decrease in stride length but increase in stride . Shoes tend to advertise this longer stride in a consequence of ground contact times and frequency. That is really because of changes in comments suggesting, increased likelihood to land on heel stretched-out, greater weight, all which lead to more times on the ground.

Bearing this into the discussion above on the body commanding things predicated on sensory information, even when conducting barefoot, there’s a greater level of stiffness in the lower leg. Higher stiffness can lead to an increased SSC (stretch shortening cycle) response, resulting in greater force over the subsequent push (2001). Dalleau et al. demonstrated that pre-activation causing increased stiffness improved Running Economy. In the analysis, the energy cost of conducting was closely associated with the stiffness of the lower leg (1998)

Yet another recent study found that knee flexion torque, knee varus torque, and hip internal rotation torque all were considerably larger in shoes in contrast to barefoot. What exactly does all this mean? Potentially, this means more strain on the joints within this area. Jay Dicharry put it better when he said:

“The soft stuff in modern sneakers allow a touch style which you wouldn’t use bare foot. The foot no longer has the proprioceptive cues that it gets unshod. The foot naturally accommodates to surfaces immediately, but a mid-sole will impair the foot’s ability to react to the bottom. This could muffle or change feedback your system receives while conducting. These factors allow a runner to embrace a gait that leads to the elevated forces observed above.”

The 1 thing which non-barefoot/heel strike proponents use to dismiss mid-foot striking/barefoot running may be the Achilles tendon. They state, correctly, that force on your Achilles is higher in midfoot runners that are striking. The Achilles is meant to have a large load. The problem is we’ve weakened the Achilles through years of wearing shoes using their heels that are raised. Essentially, we’ve created the Achilles problem with the shoes intended to block it. The Achilles is designed to operate in a rubber band like fashion. . During impact such because the braking or get phase of running, the achilles tendon stores energy and then subsequent releases which energy via recoil throughout the lose phase of running. The Achilles, can store and reunite approximately 35 percent of its kinetic energy (Ker, 1987). With this elastic storage and return, the oxygen uptake required will be 30-40% higher! Therefore, concerning performance why are you currently trying to minimize the tendonous involvement? It’s like giving energy away.

Athletic shoes don’t make use of the elastic storage and reunite in addition to bare foot or sneakers that are minimal. More energy is lost with shoes than with bare foot running (Alexander and Bennett, 1989). In addition, in certain types of shoes, the arch isn’t allowed to work as a spring. The arch of the foot can store around 17% of kinetic energy (Ker, 1987). Given these results, its surprising that running bare foot when comparing to running with shoes is more efficient. Several studies have shown a low VO2 at precisely the same pace with bare foot running, even if weight is taken into account. This should not be any real surprise as I mentioned previously, without elastic recoil VO2 condition would be 30-40percent higher. Running at a small shoe allows for greater utilization of this particular system.

The take away message is that shoes change natural mechanics to the one that creates mechanical changes which aren’t optimal for running fast (decreased stride frequency, increased soil contact, decreased stiffness of this system, decreased elastic contribution, and on and on).

Tying it jointly with E-lites:

Studying elite athletes, even when training and racing, they often have higher mortality, minimal ground contact time, and a foot attack that is under their centre of gravity. Since nearly all elites exhibit these exact traits while racing, it seems sensible this is the optimal method to conduct fast. So, why are you currently wearing footwear that’s designed to increase ground contact, decrease turnover, and promote foot-strike outside facing the center of gravity? I don’t have any idea.


In conclusion, I am not some enthusiast saying everybody ditch shoes today. Your own bodies done some adapting during this moment. You’ve must gradually change if you want to undue a number of the changes.

The objective with this article wasn’t to talk about the benefits of barefoot running. As an alternative it was to indicate the difficulties with running-shoe classification. It’s based on a cushioning/pronation paradigm which only is not quite as authentic because they need us to trust. That paradigm needs to be re evaluated. It isn’t based on good science but rather initial thoughts that made feel without science behind them, but upon further inspection mightn’t operate to testing. They reasoned that selecting shoes predicated on arch height (such as most major conducting magazines imply ) isn’t necessary if trauma avoidance may be the goal. I guess meaning the systems busted…

Where do we go and how do we fix it? I don’t have any idea. No genius responses here. My inclination is that people aim to letting the foot function the way that it’s meant to function, or at least come up with a shoe that can alter foot mechanics but while still allowing feedback/functionality of their body. The first thing is looking at the foundation on which athletic shoes are made up on, the motion control, stability, and cushioning paradigm. My take would be that it needs to be re evaluated. I’m going to end with some thing I have already said, but it is an important idea to get across:

Your system is more complicated and more affordable than we give it charge. The type of shoe and cloth of the shoe varies impact or stride characteristics perhaps not because of alignment of the lower leg because of fluctuations in cushioning. Instead it changes stride and impact faculties because it alters the sensory feedback. The brain is a excellent thing.’