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Pricey Running Shoes Not Worth It: Study
Date:10/10/2007

Expensive or not, sneakers performed equally in high-tech tests

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- When it comes to picking footwear, runners should follow Prince Charming's lead and consider a shoe's fit, not its price tag, new research suggests.

Using high-tech methods, a team of Scottish scientists found no differences in either comfort or shock absorption between $80 pairs of running shoes and pairs made by the same companies costing more than $150.

"My advice to runners is to make sure that, first, the footwear fits your feet, and that if you are paying more, that doesn't mean that you're getting something better," said lead researcher Rami Abboud, director of the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research at the University of Dundee.

His team published its findings Oct. 10 in the online edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Over the past few decades, the lowly sneaker has been transformed from a humble canvas-topped loafer to something that, according to advertisers, uses space-age technology to protect and enhance the human foot. Those lofty claims often come with lofty prices, however.

"What we wanted to check was, are you really getting value for money?" Abboud said. "Or are you just paying for advertisement?"

In their study, the Scottish researchers had 43 men, averaging about 29 years of age, try on nine pairs of running shoes -- three models each from three of the world's leading manufacturers. The men were sizes ranging from 8 to 10 (considered average male foot sizes) and had no foot or gait abnormalities.

The retail price of each of the three shoes within each brand spanned in price from $80-$90, $120-$130, and $140-$150, respectively. The men had no way of knowing the brand or cost of the shoes they were testing.

Participants were asked to test out the footwear and give the researchers a subjective assessment of each shoe's c
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