Running Shoe Technology Won't Reduce Your Risk of Injury

When it comes to running, it seems technology won't help save you. A new study shows that whatever the technical features of the shoes you wear, you're still at the same risk of injury.

The research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, originally posited that runners wearing hard-midsole shoes would be at a higher risk of running-related injuries than those wearing cloud-soft sneakers. To work out if they were right, they monitored 247 runners wearing trainers from "a renowned sports equipment manufacturer," with varying midsole stiffness. After five months, it turned out that runners wearing heavily cushioned shoes picked up just as many injuries as those wearing stiffer ones. There wasn't even any evidence that softer shoes helped heavier runners, either—usually a target audience for the extra cushioning.

Obviously, this doesn't mean you can get away with running in that beaten up pair of Converse, but it does mean that wringing your hands over the exact specification of your next pair of running shoes probably isn't worth the bother. Instead, the researchers point out that body mass index, a history of injury, and perceived exertion rate are what will snag you an injury—while a history of regular running and partaking in other sports every week will help you avoid them. [British Journal of Sports Medicine via Outside]

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