Feb 26

Can Running Shoes Do More Harm Than Good?

Good running shoe choices

Before you consider spending your well-earned money on new trainers, or expensive running shoes, it might be beneficial to consider if the benefits outweigh the cost of those shoes. Most of us have been wearing shoes for the greater part of our lives, so it’s clear that there are benefits to wearing them. However, as it turns out, studies have shown that running with running shoes on your feet can actually strain your joints and hurt your knees and hips.

Most of us are susceptible to the marketing schemes and ad gimmicks we’re surrounded with; so much so that we may even have different shoes for different occasions. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Whether it’s because you want to keep up with a certain style or trend, or you simply enjoy new shoes, you’re free to purchase whatever you like. What is essential is to avoid causing damage to your body through your choice in footwear and to maintain healthy joints and happy feet.

Of the more interesting and compelling statistics, these studies have shown that wearing certain types of “bulky” running shoes can cause as much strain on your feet as walking in high-heels can. Essentially, the problem is the distribution of weight produced by the design of the shoe, which places more weight on the heel upon landing. While this may seem effective, it would seem that the weight distribution can cause a shock to the legs that is not very noticeable, but which causes problems with joints down the road.

Walking and running are meant to be activities that relieve stress through the production of endorphins in the brain, so we need to ensure that it does not become a cause for future stress by wearing shoes that increase our chances of injury.

It would seem that the best way to run is the way our ancestors roamed the earth: barefooted—or with very minimal foot padding. But for those of us who dread the idea of walking without some sort of protection to our feet—and exposing them to other dangers on the ground—there are minimalist running shoes that are less bulky and distribute weight in a much more effective way.