There were a couple of genuinely interesting articles on running shoes. Now, when people ask me for recommendations for running shoes, I often start off by saying that there are basically two paths that you can take. The easy one is to have your gait analyzed and be recommended shoes and possibly even orthotics based on whether you are a pronator or supinator. The harder path, and the one that very few people I know have chosen, is to retrain your gait and go for minimalist or "barefoot" running shoes, relying on your own natural cushioning from the arch of your foot, the pronation of the foot and the elasticity of the Achilles tendon. These two paths are pretty much orthogonal to each other so you can't really try one of them out before deciding which to follow. If you choose "minimal" then you have to make a big commitment to reconditioning your muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to a completely different set of stresses and strains. This means building running up again from scratch, something that few people are prepared to do and that others do not have the patience to stick to. And there is nothing wrong with that. You can perfectly well go down the path of orthotics and motion control shoes with lots of cushioning but you should be aware that you are creating a dependency, rather like someone who needs to take sleeping pills to sleep at night.
I mention all this because there were two articles back-to-back that appeared to be saying completely the opposite of each other. On closer reading, they both made a lot of sense only that one was for those traveling along the path of motion control shoes and the other was for those traveling along the path of minimalist shoes.
|"The truth about running shoes"|
|"Minimalist shoes - are we ready?"|