Are structured and motion control trainers a waste of money?



  • Not really (imo)

    Not unless you're planning a few hours worth of exercise in hot conditions. In which case I doubt they'd be carrying a 'Lite' sports drink. Most people aren't exactly short of salts in their diet in the first place.
  • Ian M wrote (see)
    Not really (imo)
    Not unless you're planning a few hours worth of exercise in hot conditions. In which case I doubt they'd be carrying a 'Lite' sports drink. Most people aren't exactly short of salts in their diet in the first place.

    Not sure if salt in diet is relevant.  Its salt etc lost during long runs/bikes etc from the body and the need to replace that as well as water during and immediately after those long runs to keep everything balanced.  I normally have one of those nuun tablets or similar - which I guess is kind of a "lite" sports drink.

  • RicF - Completely agree with you! (sorry posting from my phone & quotes function not working).

    "fixing" the problem of (over) pronation with shoes ignores the fact that a huge number of those problems stem from weakness elsewhere, weak glutes & hips. Lots of people would be better off finding out WHY they overpronate and trying to fix that instead of trying to correct it with stability shoes.
  • Tiny Runner 85 wrote (see)
    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!

    Tiny Runner - I'd say that suggests you don't actually pronate at all! At least not to the degree that would require correction with support shoes. Years ago (before I understood what the terms meant and before I understood my own feet) I was given gait analysis, told I pronated, and sold a pair of support shoes. Like you, it wrecked my legs. Since then I've learned that rolling outwards on my feet when I walk and wearing down the outside edge of every pair of shoes I own actually makes me an under-pronator and the least likely candidate to be fitted with pronation support shoes. I've now been running pretty much trouble free in neutral Asics shoes for 8 years.

    I think a lot of shop staff don't actually understand the biomechanics of the foot very well at all. If you watch gait analysis videos in slow motion, when neutral runners land on their foot, there's a very slight sort of natural 'spring' in and out that I suspect is often mistaken for pronation by poorly trained shoe fitters. The foot lands, it seems to tilt inwards, but then it bounces back again. Now, I'm not an expert or even a particularly well informed amateur, but I suspect that proper pronation is not just when the foot tilts in the way slightly, it's when it fails to spring back properly, and a lot of people don't understand the difference.

    What I mean is, most of the time when shoes cause injuries, I think it's more likely that the failure is not in the construction of the shoe, it's because the shoe and the foot have been incorrectly paired up. I know loads of people with genuine pronation problems whose running difficulties were quickly solved with pronation support shoes. I do also agree though that a lot of foot and ankle problems could be sorted out with strengthening exercises for whatever the weak bit is that's causing the bother in the first place!

  • Peter Collins wrote (see)

    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.

    Peter, if that is very frightening, then you need to get out a bit.

    The companies did come up with scientific evidence, it was just considered to be not very robust which is a very different thing. As usual, I suspect that the truth lies somewhere between the left wing BBC's right-on anti-corporate opinions and the company advertising.

  • To follow on from this, what about nutritional supplements, like protein shakes?  I've been taking Myofusion for a couple of months now - £37.99 for a 2.2kg tub, and I'm beginning to think the programme's right about that sort of thing: namely that it doesn't make a great deal of difference.  I reckon I might just stick with my usual weights routine and chuck the supplement - surely by now I should be noticing some sort of difference, whether it's how I feel, or the progress I've made?

  • I would say on the part of stability shoes. 

     They work for me.

    Previous I had a pair of off the shelf Asics shoes that didnt fit properly and the end resilt i was basically over stretching my right foor big toe and it was bloody painful.

     went for a GAIT and got a pair of stability NB 940 4E and I havent had any problems since.

    Yes, why would anyone need an energy drink if you are under 16 or running under an hour.??? esp the example of a U9's football team downing full sugar Lucozade - its madness. All I had [in the old days] was water/juice and a orange at half time ......


  • Merrowman wrote (see)
    Ian M wrote (see)
    Not really (imo)
    Not unless you're planning a few hours worth of exercise in hot conditions. In which case I doubt they'd be carrying a 'Lite' sports drink. Most people aren't exactly short of salts in their diet in the first place.

    Not sure if salt in diet is relevant.  Its salt etc lost during long runs/bikes etc from the body and the need to replace that as well as water during and immediately after those long runs to keep everything balanced.  I normally have one of those nuun tablets or similar - which I guess is kind of a "lite" sports drink.

    As I understand, current thinking has changed on salt availablity.
     Sodium Balance and Performance

    • Dogma: We need to supplement with sodium to complete long-distance endurance events.
    • Science: The body self-regulates blood sodium concentration via several mechanisms, including sodium sparing in sweat and urine. When one “drinks to thirst,” blood sodium concentration invariably rises during prolonged exercise; it never falls.

    One of the most persistent beliefs in ultrarunning is that we must ingest sodium for optimal performance, if not survival. Not so, claims Noakes. He points out several studies, including sodium deprivation studies involving prolonged exercise over several days, that demonstrates that the body will maintain blood sodium levels in a deprivation state.

    In explaining this phenomenon, Noakes points out our biological mechanisms to preserve sodium in both sweat and urine – pointing out that these studies measured sodium concentrations next to nothing during prolonged exercise and sodium deprivation. Moreover, blood sodium concentrations stayed within normal ranges – so long as athletes and subjects drank only to thirst.

    • Dogma: Heavy sodium concentrations in sweat – evidenced by salt-staining on skin and clothing – identifies a person as a “salty sweater”, and that these people need even more sodium supplementation.
    • Science: The self-regulation of sodium concentration results in sodium excesses being secreted; salty secretions will cease when sodium balance is achieved.

    Simply put, the presence of salt deposits on skin and clothing are due to the body ridding of excesses, and when sodium balance is achieved – or if a blood sodium deficit is perceived – the body will conserve it from sweat and urine.

    • Dogma: Sodium supplementation stops and prevents Exercise-Associated Muscle Cramping (EAMC)
    • Science: There is no scientific evidence that shows sodium (or other electrolyte) deficits in those with muscle cramping.

    This is another interesting dogma that has thrived, pre-dating even Gatorade. The original belief of salt deficits and cramps was based, according to Noakes’ review of research, on studies of a single miner in the 1920s, who showed salt and fluid losses in association with cramps.

  • I have to agree about stability shoes - I don't think they're a waste of money.  When I first started running, I did what a lot of people do and headed on out with any old pair of trainers.  After lots of aches and pains, I got my gait tested, got a pair of proper running shoes and was fine for around a year or so after that.

  • I think perhaps with stability shoes it maybe that we need them when we start running and as we get fitter and healthier and strengthen our muscles our running gait should improve and long term we may move into suiting more nutral shoes?

    Well I'm hoping so anyway.

  • In truth, there are some absolutely awful sports nutrition products on the market.  The BBC probably missed the worst examples.  You know the Lucozade Sports Body Fuel Jelly Beans?  They are just ordinary jelly beans in a different packet, sold at a much higher price. 

    So what do I actualy put my hand in my pocket and buy?

    I have never used sports drinks.  I ran Comrades using nothing but water. 

    I do use electrolyte replacement tablets, but only on events of 40 miles or longer. 

    I use gels, but only on events of 20 miles or longer. 

    The only products I use in training are recovery shakes, which I do rate. 

     With regard to the "drink to thirst theory" I suggest that you wait for a lot more evidence before adopting it. 

  • AliBear30 yes i agree with you,i have flate wide feet and every year its a panic geting the right shoe,but now ive tweeked my running style and got fitter i could run in almost anytghing as long as its wide (2e)

    Now looking for trail shoes,dont mind minimal style but wide is a big problem..why dont they do wide fit in more brands!!

  • JLB3 wrote (see

    "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."

    I tend to agree with the above (except maybe that shoes contribute slightly more than they say).

    So the mosy imporatant consideration then is surely FIT.

    People classed as needing neutral shoes tend to have medium/high to high arches. Consequently most neutral shoes are built on the kind of last to fit that foot shape best.

    People with medium/low to low arches supposedly need stability or motion control shoes. So those kind of shoes have historically been built on a slightly straighter last to fit that foot shape.

    So if you forego the 'traditional' gait analysis and just pay attention to choosing the shoe with perfect fit - the shoe you end up with will probably be of the same type as if you had had it pescribed based on the stability level!

  • I tried sugar free Zero tabs, but found I couldn't stomach them on long runs. They didn't make me feel sick but the electrolyte drink really didn't quench my thirst in the slightest. After 25 miles my body was just begging for plain old water.

    I don't rate recovery shakes at all. After a marathon/ultra, I eat a banana, drink at least a pint of milk, stick my legs in the air and do self-massage on my quads for half an hour, then pull on compression socks. That's my recovery routine and it works great.

  • There are supermarket products that are effective as recovery drinks.  Where I think that the manufacturers of the recovery products have an argument, is in the fact that the body absorbs them more quickly.  Something like a Yazoo will work, but some technical products such as SIS Rego are water based, which aids rapid absorbtion. 

  • This was very an interesting programme, particularly the part about running shoes. I have been convinced for over 5 years that the cure of my ITB syndrome was being advised and sold a set of stability shoes. When the new model was to narrow for my foot, I thought I would be in trouble!

    The problem was as I fatigued on longer runs my knees drifted inwards, weak glutes.

    Had a gait analysis recently  and the guy said I was a neutral, which I couldn’t disagree with from the video it was clear. I recently ran 20 miles in a set of trainers that I wear for my comfy around town shoes, these are neutral – but really comfortable.

    I have built my glute medius up, I stretch  and foam roll the ITB’s and think about running with good form as I get tired, i.e. don’t let my knees collapse in past my midline.

    Chances are my original injury was from training too hard too soon, lots of hills and inadequate control from my glute medius, not my running shoes, I really believe in my case it was placebo effect.


  • re shoes iam due a new pair soon...and i have flat feet.iamgoing got nb 860 2e as they are so comfy..i dont like motion control shoes as they ar etoo bulky.

    Just for fun on my next run iam going to use my tatty old trainers..760`s which i was told at the time were not enough support(ran a few halfs in them)..

    will try them after a year of running in them and 1 year at work in them just to see if its down to running style,they are knackard!!


    My style had got better now,so i think that maybe motion control shoes ar ebetter if you start running but maybe get away with stability ;ater on,iamment to be in 940`s but dont like the lump of plastic they call stability core,i can feel it!

  • I have sworn by my nike equalons and have had 6 pairs but they are now defunct so I've got to think again. Rarely been injured since getting them but I do now wonder if that is just the progress with my running strength.
  • I reckon it was!
  • and I ran yesterday in an old pair with 500 miles in them and they were ok-ish as I ran quickly. Like someone else said, these problems sometimes kick in with slow runs when form can be neglected.

  • I always think how Iam running...all the time
  •  With regard to the "drink to thirst theory" I suggest that you wait for a lot more evidence before adopting it. 

    With regard to anything OTHER than "drink to thirst theory" I'd suggest you wait for a lot more evidence before adopting it.

  • I beleive running form has FAR MORE impact on causing or avoiding running injuries than a bit of hard rubber on parts of shoes. It's just that most runners don't want to invest their time and effort in improving how they run - instead, hand over a credit card for a new pair of shoes - job done (or so they believe...which, like placibo often does the trick just as well)

  • Running shop 'experts' are quite able to spot your foot over-pronating on the video -hell, I'm no expert, but I reckon I could too! And sure, they can put you in a different shoe which may eliminate that, and show you the evidence of that too. That's all they do! There is then a HUGE assumption on theirs and your part that that was the cause and now the fix to the injury problem. Anything after this is anecdotal.

  • Ive really gone though some changes in my style, i only started running a few years ago ,and my style then was terrible.

    I used to heal strike,look down too much(in a scrunched up way) croos my arms over while running.


    Now things are way more of a relax comfortable style, and iam getting afaster with no injurys.

  • I'm well over 6' and was overweight when I started running in a pair of neutral shoes. I was in agony in no time - but thought (stupidly) it was a case of 'no pain no gain'. After visiting a proper running shop I was sold some Mizuno Wave Nirvanas and I was in running heaven - it's like they're made for me. I've stuck with them ever since. Recently, the shop had no Nirvanas in and I tried another structured shoe by a leading brand - the result was agony: blisters, calf and shin pain - I ordered another pair of Nirvanas and I'm right as rain again. For me there's no argument - the shoes make every bit of difference, and whilst I might not like paying a lot for them, I love running, so that's the deal. I think the number one advice is always listen to what your body is telling you - not the BBC, not Murdoch - just get on and enjoy your running!

  • State my position first... I own a running store, I studied podiatry at Uni in Sheffield. I have attended more CPD courses in soft tissue, lower limb mechanics & about to complete the england athletic endurance coach in running fitness course.

    How many of you all out there have bothered to learn to run correctly ? If you wanted to get good at golf or tennis would you not have thought about have at least 2 or 3 lessons? Most people who run/jog don't.

    Technical running shoes/sports orthortics are designed to do the extra load/effort that we are not prepared to do.

    If we are talking about the 'correct' way to run, then I fully agree with many on here that lower, flatter and less structured footwear is correct. But that comes with a correct way of landing, control of impact, a fully laid out training plan with significant levels of recovery and 'core control' training. Using plyometric running techniques and no junk miles.

    If the mass of runners in the world can abide by just some of the basic rules above, then the companies will slow down the creation and production of over heavy, over supportive footwear. The need for this type of runnng shoe would reduce.

    But most people, overtrain, have poor technique and just want a pair of shoes that feel like they are strong, supportive and have lots of cushioning.

    The shoe compaines, are just that, companies. Required to make money. They are creating what MOST ruuners say they like.

    With the development of bare foot/minimal/natural motion shoes, when you go into a running specialist store, you now have a choice. Do you want the shoe to do the work (structured & cushioned) or do you want to do the work.

    We now give our customers the option. If we 'motion test' them and see an excessive pronation, we ask 'do they want to train their mechanics to cope with the excessive motion, or do they want the shoes to help and guide the action?'

    The vast majority choose 'shoe do the work please ' !!

  • Jethro, very interesting. So, some customers show excessive what? Why do you have to correct it?

  • I find buying shoes a right pain! wish companys kept the same model and just changed the colour each year.

    I really stuck at the moment on what to try,got a couple of months and iam due some new ones.and trail shoes as well.


    running is the easy bit!

  • Hi SSLHP,

    The reason that many people (not all) benefit from having an element of control (balance) added to their excessive rolling motion, is because their own soft tissue, posture and etc is not strong enough to cope with the excessive forces placed upon the body in a running strike.

    Think of a door hanging on two side fixed hinges. If those two hinges are not fixed correctly, with equal weight on both, set in a straight line then over time and use of the door being swung, one of the hinges could well be taking too much weight/effort. This could lead in time to the hinge buckling/twisting and breaking early. Or could lead to the door frame splitting and becoming weak.

    So the idea is that if the runner doesn't have either the 'hinges' set correctly or the ability to be 'soft tissue' strong in the 'incorrect' position (door frame being strengthened). Then having something else to help guide the correct pattern of the lower limb (smooth door swing) may prevent overuse issues.

    There is an ongoing debate with 'phyiso/podiatry/biomech coaching as to what is the correct solution. That debate will rumble on and on !!! 

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