"in-shoe pronation control...potentially injurious.” - Nike top bod

Posted in Dishing the Dirt by Matt Ward on Thu 22 Jul '10

© chrismcdougall.com

This is certainly a big stick giving it some in the hornets nest that is cushioning and control Vs neutrality – when it comes to running shoes. Chris McDougall digs a little deeper into the big brands psyche and gets some juicy nuggets from Gordon Valiant, Nike’s head of biomechanical research…

MST is not qualified enough to comment on how all of this will come out in the wash, however the giants of shoe manufacturing are obviously taking note of the barefoot movement. And when it comes to off-road shoes there is an obvious inclination to let your feet and body take control…

Interesting stuff!

Reactions so far
  1. Matt Beardshall Jul 29, 05:07 AM

    This is an interesting development from a company that first started putting support and cushioning into running shoes. It appears the evidence for not having ‘stuff’ in shoes is mounting, but where will that leave the millions of runners who are now programmed into cushioning and support? There is plenty of mileage left in this debate.

  2. Imtiaz Aug 3, 12:41 PM

    There is most certainly a growing amount of biomechanical evidence for not having the elevated heels and supports beneath the arches of the foot. But all we need to do is look at the incidence of running related injuries over the last 30 years. It’s up to 90%! One would think advances in technology would aid in preventing injury and improve performance. Not so in the world of running footwear! Cushioned and stability control footwear elicits a heel strike technique which increases the impact forces at the foot, knee and hip. It also detracts from the natural elastic properties of the musculoskeletal system.

    For the runners out there programmed to run in cushioned and supportive shoes, you need to re-learn running. Gradually though. Occasionally run barefoot to learn good technique (try convincing your body to land on the heel over long distances). Get hold of footwear that has no evelated heel and a flexible sole so that the foot can move naturally. Slowly move away from those marshmallow soles and your foot and lower limb strength will improve, you’ll be less likely to experience repetitive stress injuries which can only mean one thing – more running!

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