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    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    "No Evidence" on Running Shoe Safety

    Note: For my minimalist and barefoot running friends, this is not new news at all. BFT

    By Danny Rose, Australian Herald Sun

    AUSTRALIAN joggers are being warned there's no hard science underpinning what they wear on their feet.

    Scientists at the University of Newcastle wanted to find independent studies on the safety of sneakers that have cushioned heels and other features to prevent the ankle rolling in.

    Dr Craig Richards said an analysis of the global pool of sports medicine research turned up nothing relating to the commonly used, and recommended, sports shoes.

    "Since the 1980s, distance running shoes with thick, heavily cushioned heels and features to control how much the heel rolls in, have been consistently recommended to runners who want to avoid injury,'' Dr Richards said.

    "We did not identify a single study that has attempted to measure the effect of this shoe type on either injury rates or performance.

    "This means there is no scientific evidence (the) shoes provide any benefit to distance runners.''

    Dr Richards said Dutch researchers had previously found between 37 and 56 per cent of recreational runners become injured at least once each year.

    These injuries mainly affected the runners' legs and feet, and Dr Richards said the standard preventative recommendation was to wear what was called a PCECH shoe - a sneaker with pronation control to prevent the ankle from rolling in and an elevated cushioned heel.

    "Not only can we no longer recommend a PCECH shoe, but the lack of research in this area means that we cannot currently make any evidence-based shoe recommendations to runners.

    "To resolve this uncertainty, running shoes need to be tested like any other medical treatment, in carefully controlled clinical trials.''

    Dr Richards' findings are published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

    Link to story above:

    http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,25171370-5005961,00.html

    Also, more information about the Dr. Craig Richards can be found in this article:

    Aussie study challenges claims for hi-tech running shoes

    And here is a link to his British Journal of Sports Medicine article:

    Is your prescription of distance running shoes evidence based?

    BFT

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