Finding the right fit- running shoes

Scientists explode the myth about running injuries

There’s been a recent boom in the last decade of shops pushing you to have a fitting for what is normally, a choice between numerous pairs of expensive running shoes.
Of course there’s a science behind running, but has it gone too far and turned into a money making scheme?

Asics list 6 things to consider when buying a new pair of running shoes:
1) Intended use. Apparently this doesn’t just mean indoor or outdoor but road running, running on a purpose-built track or perhaps on a forest trail?!
2) Pronation. This is the factor that apparently needs addressing to stop injury.
3) Size: length
4) Size: width
5) Weight (of you; if you weight more you need more support, and your shoe; the lighter the better)
6) Socks (who knew you could spend so much on socks specifically for running!? If I can find a matching pair of any kind of sock then that’s an achievement… Don’t think I’ll be splashing out any time soon)


Pronation refers to the rolling of your foot at the ankle when your foot makes contact with the floor. As your ankle copes with the shock absorption of the forces associated with running, it was thought that if your ankle pronates you were at an increased risk of injury as the shock was not distributed in a healthy way.

However there’s an increasing amount of research to suggest that this isn’t the case.

For example…

Nielsen et al found that:
– Their study contradicts the current assumption that over/underpronation in the foot leads to an increased risk of running injury if you run in a neutral pair of running shoes.
– The study shows that the risk of injury was the same for runners after the first 250 km, irrespective of their pronation type.
– The study shows that the number of injuries per 1,000 km of running was significantly lower among runners who over/underpronate than among those with neutral foot pronation.

So maybe you don’t need to spend £100s on an expensive pair of trainers, but just enough on a pair that is comfortable 🙂

R. O. Nielsen, I. Buist, E. T. Parner, E. A. Nohr, H. Sorensen, M. Lind, S. Rasmussen. Foot pronation is not associated with increased injury risk in novice runners wearing a neutral shoe: a 1-year prospective cohort study. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2013

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