Are structured and motion control trainers a waste of money?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18863293 - Interesting, particularly the bit about trainers as I am about to purchase a new pair.

Professor Benno Nigg of the University of Calgary in Canada, has been studying the biomechanics of running for more than 40 years.

He said the conventional thinking was that cushioning and control were the key health benefits of running shoes - but that idea has been proven wrong by recent studies that showed no difference in injury rates if runners were prescribed structured shoes meant to control how their foot lands as they run.

"The most important predictors for injuries are distance, recovery time, intensity and those type of things... the shoes come very, very later as minor contributors.

Draw your own conclusions, I'd like to find the actual research that is alluded to.

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Comments

  • Didn't see the programme but all the research I've seen as shown they're of pretty much zero benefit. There's some links to some of the research off here -

    http://www.runblogger.com/2010/07/pronation-control-paradgim-is-starting.html
  • Scary stuff in view of the premium on some trainers.  I had my gait analysed before running was really on my radar (I mostly played squash); I was experienceing heel pain, so I thought I'd give it a bash to see if more apropriate trainers worked.  I also bought inserts for my work shoes around the same time.  My heel pain largely went away after a few weeks, and I have taken this as anecdotal evidence that the sturctured trainers worked.  I was about to drop £85 on a pair of Brooks Adrenaline, but now I'm not so sure.

  • When I run slowly without structured trainers, I get bad pain in my feet, so the simplest conclusion I can make is that they can't always be a waste of money.

  • Anything other than Neutral is manufactured to the benefit of people who have forgotten how to run properly.

    It's big business making shoes for poor running form

  • Ian M wrote (see)
    Didn't see the programme but all the research I've seen as shown they're of pretty much zero benefit. There's some links to some of the research off here -
    http://www.runblogger.com/2010/07/pronation-control-paradgim-is-starting.html

    I think it's on tonight BBC1 8pm.  I'm a Luna sandal wearing runner so I'd agree about cushioned trainers, but it'll be interesting to hear what they say about sports drinks etc.  Will it be a program for the general public who don't really know much about this already (probably since it's 8pm on BBC1) or for people who have read up a bit on this (unlikely)?  So they'll probably conclude "lucozade won't make you a better sportsman..." rather than "if you drink this at a specific time during a long event or after an event to aid recovery then it should help replenish.... to aid performance/recovery", or talk about it's effect on insulin levels and when to drink it etc...

     

  • RunningInPleasePass wrote (see)

    Anything other than Neutral is manufactured to the benefit of people who have forgotten how to run properly.

    It's big business making shoes for poor running form

    Surely one of the beauties of running is that us club-level runners don't need to conform to one particular running style in order to be successful? 
    The day somebody is telling me I have to change my form in order to run faster, I'm retiring. I hate 'technical' sports...

  • Drinking lucozade or any other product, enless they were endorsed by the Tour de France riders in the late 1990'simage, won't make you a better performer.

    However if you get dehydrated and lose minerals during a long race your performance will be impared and commercial drinks are a convenient way to hydrate. Running around a 5k couse swigging a bottle of the latest super sports drink will make bugger all difference.

    I use micropore tape to protect from "nip rub". Will it make me a better runner; of course not. Will I be a worse runner if I don't use it; possibly. 

    The quoted study on shoes stated that the study wrt stability, neutral and motion control was simplistic; not exactly a suprise. I'm an ex-rugby player weighing over 90kg with a knackered knee and a sub 40 min 10k time. The shoes I wear are unlikely to have a massive affect on the injuries I'm likely to suffer; however the knackered knee means that I do over pronate so wear stability shoes. Ideally I would have a physio and osteopath design the perfect shoe for me but that ain't going to happen so I stick to what I am comfortable with.

    Don't assume that the most expensive shoes are the "simplest"; my racing flats cost me nearly £80 and they are two bits of nylon with a bit of string holding them together!

    Interesting that the program is being broadcast on a Thursday evening which is Club night for 80%+ of Club Runners!

  • Some of the research appears to indicate not only that structured and motion control footware are of no benifit from an injury reduction point of view, but that motion control trainers might have a negative effect. 

  • Is that a surprise?

  • TBH, yes it is.  I still won't be barefoot running, just won't be spending as much on my next pair of trainers.

  • Pethead wrote (see)
    RunningInPleasePass wrote (see)
    Anything other than Neutral is manufactured to the benefit of people who have forgotten how to run properly. It's big business making shoes for poor running form

    Surely one of the beauties of running is that us club-level runners don't need to conform to one particular running style in order to be successful? 
    The day somebody is telling me I have to change my form in order to run faster, I'm retiring. I hate 'technical' sports...

    Running is not technical, it used to be natural. The trouble is most seem to have forgotten how to run. Sure we can trot along at a decent pace, some quite fast.

    Manufacturers in the past 20 years have jumped on the bandwaggon of running and produced shoes to compensate for poor running form, as I said, It;s a big business.

  • RunningInPleasePass wrote (see)
    Pethead wrote (see)
    RunningInPleasePass wrote (see)

    Anything other than Neutral is manufactured to the benefit of people who have forgotten how to run properly.

    It's big business making shoes for poor running form

    Surely one of the beauties of running is that us club-level runners don't need to conform to one particular running style in order to be successful? 
    The day somebody is telling me I have to change my form in order to run faster, I'm retiring. I hate 'technical' sports...

    Running is not technical, it used to be natural. The trouble is most seem to have forgotten how to run. Sure we can trot along at a decent pace, some quite fast.

    Manufacturers in the past 20 years have jumped on the bandwaggon of running and produced shoes to compensate for poor running form, as I said, It;s a big business.

    Surely the point is that manufacturers are producing shoes that have no benefit no matter how good or poor your running form is, or what your biomechanics are, contrary to their claims.

  • There was a study of running injuries that found an unexpected correlation: your chance of injury went up in line with the cost of your running shoes.  I think I read this in the "Born to Run" book.

    All I know is that when I bought a pair of neutral trainers (based on shop advice) I had really bad knee pain that was only cured when I returned to my mild-support trainers.  This may have been due to some other attribute of the shoe, however they were from the same brand and were both mid-range models.   

    I don't have the perfect running form, and based on races I've taken part in very few people do!  Regardless of the "technology" the brands put into their shoes, when I find a model that I can run in that feel good and don't cause any pains, I'll stick with them.

  • I started running in March.  I went to a specialized running shop for advice on my first pair of running trainers.  The chap who owned the store (who has 50+ years of competitive running experience) spent a long time chatting with me, looking at my old trainers, asking what type of mileage I was planning on building up to etc. and advised me to get neutral shoes with a bit of cushioning, which I did.

    I gradually built up my running over the course of the next few months and joined a running club.  I joined in with speed sessions and tempo runs and started racing.  I built up my long, slow run to 12 miles.  I didn't experience a single niggle.  My love of running was firmly cemented.

    After winning my local parkrun's 'parkrunner of the month' and getting a free voucher for sweatshop I went along for a gait analysis.  Apparently I overpronate.  I was warned that if I didn't start wearing stability shoes I would end up with serious knee problems further down the line.  I accepted her advice and chose a pair of Brook's Adrenalines.  I wore them in gradually, sticking to my old shoes when racing and for the longer runs.  After 3 weeks of wearing my new stability shoes, my legs are goosed.  I have severe pain in my shins constantly and last night completely pulled up in training, even struggling to walk.

    I am going back to my trusty, reliable, smelly, comfy, neutral shoes and I will never be persuaded to get stability shoes ever again.  Will be watching this programme with great interest.

  • Agree on overstructure, but not on pronation. I wear minimalist stability shoes, after having my gait extensively analysed by a physiotherapist. Even though I am a midfoot striker, and therefore don't need shoes that are structured in the rearfoot, my gait is much more stable and my feet are flicking out less with the motion control than without. A lot of elite runners pronate, and it helps them get the most push out of their contact with the ground, but you don't want it to cause instability and unsymmetrial patterns in the rest of your body, as this makes you far more suseptible to injury.

  • The astounding conclusion re shoes is to buy something that is comfey and that you enjoy running in!

    As for sports drinks.....

    Think I'm safe with my pre run mug of builders brew without the sugar.

    It's not rocket surgery.

  • postie postie wrote (see)

    The astounding conclusion re shoes is to buy something that is comfey and that you enjoy running in!

    And if that happens to be £100 worth of sturdy, thick-as-a-brick Asics (for example) please don't condemn me if it is!

  • I would certainly defend the principle of pronation control.  I worked in a running shop for nearly three years, and met an awful lot of peoples feet.  If you have a person who is running in a neutral shoe who suffers from shin splints, then 9 times out of ten the problem disappears if you put them in a support shoe. 

    Remember that a lot of shops offer a 30 day return policy.  That effectively means that whatever injury you are suffering from when you walk through the door, the shop guarantees to get rid of it.  If the customer uses the facility, then the best that the retailer can hope for is to break even on the transaction. Working in this kind of shop, you don't have the luxury of getting it wrong very often.  Trust me, your manager won't like it. 

  • Oh, and I did not come away with a very high opinion of most sports nutrition products.

  • First of all I do not work for a shoe company but I just don't get the it's all corporate bullshit and they are just trying to sell us expensive crap.

    I do agree that some shops oversell their "expertise" and that a certain large sports shop chain in the south east would sell motion control shoes to a pink poodle chasing a duck in the park if it got the chance.

    There are not enough trials on this issue; most of them that have been done are associated with university students training for their first half marathon; remember those days when everything hurt in rotation.

    There need to be more research and it needs to be more than a survey by a Phd student.

  • Is all this about not spending a lot of money or not getting ripped off, or the suspicion that if your spending a lot of money you must be being ripped off?

    I suspect that many of you would happily take a pair of the type of shoes your criticising gratis, but just get antsy when asked to part with money.

    Dont worry one day you will be able to download a pair off a pirate websiteimage

    I run in Brooks Adreneline GTS have done since version 8 and they are worth the money. GTS 11 are a dream to run in .

     

     

     

  • From my own experience, motion control shoes/devices are really just fixing a fault with a opposing fault rather than fixing the source of the problem. And the problem with feet are that in many cases they (the feet) are just weak and unconditioned. 

    I find myself that when out of shape, unfit and overweight I need all the support and motion control I can get. But maybe things have changed over the past 20 years. I do know that I need a slight arch support since I'm inclined to become more flat footed as I become tired. The solution there is to train to avoid it.

  • Ben Davies 15 wrote (see)

    I would certainly defend the principle of pronation control.  I worked in a running shop for nearly three years, and met an awful lot of peoples feet.  If you have a person who is running in a neutral shoe who suffers from shin splints, then 9 times out of ten the problem disappears if you put them in a support shoe. 

    I agree with the above.  But I was in a neutral shoe with no injuries.  THey said I have a light overpronation in my right foot and sold me stability shoes.  I can now barely walk, let alone run!

  • I think this is all just part of the BBC's "companies are bad" campaign.

  • I think they had decided what they wanted the conclusion to be before they started to make the program as they often do...

    Would have liked them to talk a bit more about electrolytes and long distance endurance events - but I guess the slot (8pm BBC1) meant it was aimed at the masses who spend less than an hour doing something.

    I think most of the people who buy sports drinks are trying to get over hangovers....

  • I think these last two posts are unfair on the programme. They consistently asked manufacturers of various products to back up their advertising and marketing claims with scientific evidence, which it's not a bad thing to require of them, but hardly anyone could come up with any. That is very frightening, to my mind.

  • I'm not disagreeing with you, would have just liked them to investigate a bit further and deeper in some areas - particularly the sports nutrition part. But in a primetime slot this wasn't going to happen.

    By the way I run in minimalist running sandals and take no supplements during training just trying to get my diet right instead.  But when doing a marathon or a half-ironman I do take energy gels and electrolytes in my drink as well as water. 

  • The most useful thing anyone can do is simply to find out what's comfortable and helpful for them. If that means barefoot trainers or huge wedges of support - fine. If it means drinking only water or gulping shedloads of Lucozade, fine. Part of it might be physical, a lot of it is certainly in the mind.

  • I thought it was a decent programme and was fairly balanced. I don't totally agree with the 'wear whatever is comfortable' conclusion about shoes but I also don't think that is the main focus of the programme.

    For me the crucial message was that sports drinks are full of sugar, and for the majority of people doing casual exercise the benefit of the exercise doesn't outweigh the nagitives of taking on all that sugar. The scary bit was how their marketing had brainwashed kids who now believe the drink is necessary.

    'Lite' sports drinks are obviously a joke and I'm pleased they reported that as such.

  • shawk wrote (see)

    'Lite' sports drinks are obviously a joke and I'm pleased they reported that as such.

    No carbs, but useful to keep ion/electrolyte levels up - Time and a place thing?

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