Here is a very interesting article written by Dr. Joseph Froncioni (an orthopaedic surgeon) that is well worth a read: http://www.quickswood.com/my_weblog/2006/08/athletic_footwe.html
Some questions/thoughts that immediately spring to mind after reading it are:
1) Is there a trade-off we have to take into consideration when running on unnatural man made hard surfaces no mater how correct good your running technique is? (ie: some forefoot cushioning in shoes)?
2) Can we place any faith in orthopaedic surgeons who prescribe orthodontics for runners? If the theory of this essay is correct, it would imply that even the specialist might have an incorrect understanding on how the feet respond and deal with impact stress when applied to a sport such as running and also corrective prescription.
3) The implications that modern day running shoes are no good for you, weather in the short or long term, by simply not being at all effective in doing anything to either "re-educate" or strengthen any foot muscle weakness/imbalance, making our already Lazy feet muscles even lazier, impairing the bodies natural feet to brain sensory feedback system (given to us by natural evolution over many thousands of years) is quite profound, especially to a runner. So bearing this in mind, where does the average Joe now turn to for the best advice?
I appreciate that the main things to sort out to reduce any risk of repetitive impact related injuries is to start off with learning how to run with the correct technique first and foremost, but it begs the question of how far does a modern day running shoe inhibit this process and why is this not front page news on all running sites/organizations etc across the globe? Because to me implications of this sort of talk is as shocking as hearing that the earth is might actually be round instead of flat... ok, maybe not quite that shocking
Last point; be gentle with me...
Anyone have any thoughts on this?