Navigation Links
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 comfort. They also ran in the shoes while wearing high-tech sensors that gauged pressures at various points on the foot, including plantar pressure, the force generated by the impact of the sole hitting the ground.

"I believe that sports manufacturers are using similar, if not the same, equipment for measuring pressure inside the shoes," Abboud said.

Tabulating the results, the researchers reported no significant differences in comfort between the shoes, regardless of their price.

When it came to shock absorption, some shoes performed better than others on different areas of the foot, but no clear pattern emerged. In fact, plantar pressure was actually lower for the cheap-to-moderately priced footwear compared to more high-end gear, although this difference did not reach statistical significance, the researchers said.

"The perception is that if you pay more, you might end up having something more protective within the shoes, but that's something that we just couldn't find," Abboud said. "From what we found, [the difference] seems to be pure advertisement."

Efforts by HealthDay to reach shoe manufacturers Nike and Adidas for comment were unsuccessful.

Podiatrists and footwear experts have their own views on the findings.

"I don't think there's anything shocking in this article -- to find out that maybe some of the high-end running shoes really aren't necessary for the average person that's running," said Dr. James Christina, a podiatrist and director of scientific affairs at the American Podiatric Medical Association. Big-name companies "come out with a new model [of running shoe] every year," he said. "How much of an improvement has really been made?"

But he also pointed out that people who buy sneakers are paying for a shoe's longevity, not just its comfort and protection.

The Scottish study is just a "snapshot of the cushioning ability of that shoe in time," Christina noted. "It would have been interesting to have the subjects run a certain length of time, a certain schedule of months or a year, and then compare how the cushioning held up."

Another expert agreed, and added that fit -- not price tag -- should remain the most important consideration when selecting shoes.

The study's methodology "didn't tell me if the shoes are appropriate for a particular runner," said Dr. Gerard Varlotta, director of sports rehabilitation at the Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine, part of New York University Medical Center.

"You have to not look at the price but look at the sneaker itself," he said. "Is someone who runs 300 miles a week the same as someone who runs 3 miles a week?"

Bruce Wilk is a physical therapist, a former board member of the American Medical Athletic Association and owner of the Runner's High, a Miami store catering to avid runners. He said too many runners just try on a few sneakers in a store without giving them a "test run."

They "often spend money on something that just doesn't fit," he said. "New shoes always feel 'comfortable' -- if it doesn't dig in or squeeze my foot, then, hey, it's comfortable. But when they have a real good run in it, and you teach them what to look for, that's a whole other thing."

To that end, Wilk has customers run in a variety of sneakers on a treadmill before they pick the shoe they think is right for them.

As for cost, Wilk agreed that "at $80 versus $200, there really may not be a big advantage at all. It's just how the shoe feels to the beholder."

Varlotta agreed. "You don't have to go to the most expensive [shoe] to get something that's adequate for your needs," he said, "just like you don't need a Bentley to get a nice smooth ride."

More information

There's more on selecting the right running shoe at the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.



SOURCES: Rami Abboud, Ph.D., director, Institute of Motion Analysis and Research, University of Dundee, Scotland; Gerard Varlotta, M.D., director, sports rehabilitation, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine, New York University Medical Center, New York City; James Christina, DPM, director, scientific affairs, American Podiatric Medical Association, Bethesda, Md.; Bruce Wilk, physical therapist, Miami; Oct. 10, 2007, British Journal of Sports Medicine, online


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Why running noses are a good thing
2. Running delays disability in the aged
3. Rats dream about running mazes...
4. Running Water Restored In Chinese City
5. Running Alone Might Not Be The Answer
6. Retro Running Is Found To Be More Advantageous
7. Higher Gas Prices Leave Many Workers Running on Empty
8. Bird Flu Risk Still Running High in Egypt, Indonesia, WHO Says
9. Australian Injured as Spain Begins Annual Bullrunning Festival
10. Protestors Strip, Don Horns Against Spains Running of the Bulls
11. Skip the Drug, Pick Up Your Shoes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... August 23, 2017 , ... ... vans, announced today that has been named to the 2017 Inc. 500|5000, an ... based on a three-year growth rate of 139 percent, marking the twelfth year ...
(Date:8/23/2017)... ... August 23, 2017 , ... ... (SNAC) is holding an inaugural State of the Science Symposium in partnership ... Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. , This symposium provides a forum for global leaders ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... to announce the addition of Zack Tisch as the firm’s new Consulting Services ... healthcare IT consulting firm’s national accounts, from assisting clients with initial vendor selection ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... ... ... Walk Away”: a captivating and romantic sequel to the romantic story of a ... creation of published author, Larry R. Sherman, a retired chemistry professor from the University ... well as four novels. , Though the book opens in 1947, when Edward ...
(Date:8/22/2017)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... August 22, 2017 , ... ... advisor. Mr. Stewart is the Founder and Managing Member for t4 Leadership Development ... have become critical to his definition of “success”: physician leadership development, servant leadership, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/10/2017)... Aug. 10, 2017  Physical Rehabilitation Network (PRN), acquired the ... Lakewood, Colorado . The reputable clinic will continue ... PT, DPT with his staff of four clinicians. Lipkin received ... and brings over 10 years of experience with a strong ... Belmar PT marks the 10th PRN clinic in and around the ...
(Date:8/7/2017)... , Aug. 7, 2017 Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. ... Joel Saban as president, effective Aug. 7, 2017. ... has decided to pursue other interests and will serve ... his tenure, Paul has served us in multiple leadership roles ... Pharmacy in Jun. 2015 and has provided decisive, strategic leadership ...
(Date:8/3/2017)... Aug. 3, 2017  Opioid addiction and other drugs ... healthcare costs and threatening outcomes, were problems taken on ... IVD industry that support them, met this week. This ... said that drugs of abuse, procalcitonin and acute kidney ... the organization,s 69th meeting in San Diego, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: