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Recent Research Questions Validity of Assigning Running Shoes Based of Foot Type

By: Paul Langer, DPM

Recently, researchers at the University of British Columbia tested the hypothesis that runners would be more prone to running-related pain or injury if they ran in shoes that were randomly assigned to them instead of assigned according to the accepted method of matching foot type to shoe type.

The study did not support the hypothesis that runners would be less prone to injury after matching the foot type to the shoe type. In fact, the study authors concluded that prescribing different types of shoes on the basis of foot type is “overly simplistic and potentially injurious.” The study also calls into question the benefits of motion control shoes even for highly pronated feet and suggests that some stability may be beneficial even for neutral runners.

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