Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bad Shoes

It's always consoling to discover that everything you have ever been told about something is wrong. Now we learn that running shoes are bad for you. Even better, expensive ones are worse for you than cheap ones. Since running shoe companies account for a massive amount of advertising, I'm slightly surprised this story has come out at all.


  1. As with everything else important in life, Macca already knew best.

  2. reminds me when I was selected (forced) for the school athletics team and had to turn up with proper ''spikes''. I ran considerably slower times in these than my normal pumps and as a consequence was dropped at the end of the season! still, adidas profited so not a complete disaster...

    barefoot, at least when you step in dog shit - which you will - you'll know about it before you tread it into the house/car.

  3. "many runners have been shucking off the high-tech trainers in favor of naked feet — or minimalist footwear like Nike Free, the Newton All-Weather Trainer and the glove-like Vibram FiveFingers"

    There's your advertising, Brian. Nobody wants to tread in dogshit barefoot. The piece even has positive quotes from the shoemakers mentioned. Talking cobblers, you might say, in the tradition of Nike marketing.

  4. suggested tagline?
    the emperor's new trainers.

  5. I've thought about this. Hasn't got me far but the few things I am sure of will no doubt be of great interest so they are: 1. Yes it is consoling, especially when the people who told you told you with such smug certainty. 2. The wrong running shoes are certainly very bad for you. 3. There have been few bigger impediments to my running than People Who Know. Because of People Who Know I always tried to run on my heels, which increases overpronation. Because of People Who Know I put up with years of running in expensive, usually brick-like anti-overpronation shoes. Thanks to a leading Person Who Knows an expensive pair of plank-like orthotic insoles were made for me to put inside my running shoes, despite them lifting my ankles high above the sides. (Later a more stick-like pair were made, which I couldn't even walk on.) 4. The solution, eventually found by ignoring the PWK, to my common 'problem' of elegant high arches and overpronation is to simply stick bits of rubber or foam under the normal insole of light, flexible shoes. Happily landing mid-foot or on toes in such light shoes has probably helped too. 5. Shoe companies never stop fiddling with their products and looking for new selling points, creating a totally looney tunes evolution. 6. If you find shoes you like you should buy as many pairs as possible because they will soon be updated and worse. 7. In my case the expert advice that you should not wait for your shoes to show wear before changing them has consistently proven erroneous - there are four holes in my current pair which are nicely cooling this time of year. 8. You hardly need Nike Frees when you have old trainers, although the original Frees did look nice. 9. Running off-road is best by a factor of a million. 10. I won't be going barefoot even when off-road. Not sure but I'd guess one problem is the fact that we've all worn shoes all our lives. 11. That's not all but it'll have to do.