Save Your Money: Padded Sneakers Don’t Prevent Running Injuries, Study Says

IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION

Our office continues to be open to all new and existing patients. We use hospital-grade sanitizers and are taking measures to ensure patients maintain social distancing by not having anyone wait in our reception room with others. If you prefer to wait in your car, just give us a call and we will call or text you when we are ready to bring you straight into a treatment room. Our entire staff is wearing masks and we encourage you to do the same.

For those patients who cannot or still wish not to visit the office, we are offering private video telemedicine visits. Simply call the office at 713-785-7881 and ask for an e-visit and we will be happy to get you set up for an immediate appointment. You can also request an appointment through our website.

We’ve all seen the ads for expensive sneakers, equipped with extra cushioning supposedly designed for shock-absorption and running injury prevention. I’m sure some of you have wondered if spending all that money on the extra features will actually keep you healthy—now, a new study from the Department of Public Health in Luxembourg has answered that question with a resounding no.Those funky bottom grips won't prevent running injuries

Researchers from the department’s Sports Medicine Research Laboratory tested 250 runners wearing identical-looking shoes, each equipped with different levels of cushioning. They discovered weight and fitness levels made a difference in injury rates, but shoe padding didn’t.

Runners participating in the study had to train at least once a week, only use their test shoes for running and report their training information as well as any injuries they incurred; the study took place over five months.  Out of 69 runners who reported injuries, 32 used hard-soled sneakers and 37 used more cushioned shoes.

The results are pretty clear: if you run more than you are physically ready for, you are likely to experience foot pain or injury, regardless of whether you have purchased the newest Nikes or Asics. The key to staying healthy while running, then, is simple: try to maintain your weight, exercise regularly but don’t over-train and choose a shoe designed to fit your specific foot type rather than a sneaker that manufacturers claim will help you run comfortably. As a Houston podiatrist, I’d rather see you invest in a good set of custom orthotics that truly protect your feet than have you throw away money on padding that may feel nice but won’t prevent running injuries.

Running is a great way to stay fit, but only if you can avoid injury. If you have any type of running-related foot pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider for quality treatment and a safer running plan.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Connect with me
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.