Modern Running Shoes & Cholesterol

The following is a full expert from a piece written by Blaise DuBois of The Running Clinic in Quebec City Canada.  Blaise and their team are true leaders in their efforts to better educate the running population on the causes of running injuries and how to develop efficient running technique.

There philosophy challenges much of what the running shoe industry has built itself upon.  It is a very fair and welcomed response to question their statements, but their collection data and research speaks for itself.  I would encourage you to checkout their website, shoot them an email and even better attend a clinic if you get a chance.

I was fortunate enough to attend the New Trends in The Prevention of Running Injuries in January and it was profoundly impactful.  You can see a full list of their clinic schedule here.  They will be in Milwaukee, WI for a conference and lecture on June 10th and Shepherdstown, WV on June 23.

Read on, run free and share it if you enjoy it!


Monday, April 25th, 2011

Modern running shoes and cholesterol

If profit-making companies were to introduce a category of pill to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and the pill became extremely popular, being sold to all hypercholesterolemic patients…
And, a few years later, it became clear that not only was the pill ineffective in reducing blood cholesterol, but it also caused several unpleasant side effects such as muscle pain and digestive problems…
What would you do? Pull the pill from the market, gradually to minimize withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, …and, above all, no longer prescribe it to newly diagnosed hypercholesterolemic patients.

If profit-making companies (1) were to introduce a category of running shoe to reduce skeletal stress (and therefore injuries) (2), and the shoe became extremely popular and was sold to all runners (3) …
And, a few years later, it became clear that not only w as the shoe ineffective in reducing skeletal stress (4) (and therefore injuries)(5), but it also caused several unpleasant side effects such as increased strike force (6) and weakened feet (7) …
What would you do? Pull the shoe from the market, gradually to minimize withdrawal symptoms such as pain in the Achilles tendon (8), … and, above all, no longer prescribe it to new runners (9)!!!

1. The running shoe market is worth multi billion dollars per year. (The National Sporting Goods Association’s – NSGA-2)
2. The integration of shock-absorbing and pronation technologies into running shoes exploded in the 1990s. Shoes became bigger, thicker and more expensive. Modern running shoes are built with Pronation Control, Elevated CushionedHeel (first described by Dr. Craig Richards as PECH technol ogy).
3. In the past 20 years, more than 95% of all running shoes sold in specialized running stores have been PECH-type shoes.
4. The body of studies into the concept of shoe absorption has failed to confirm it as a reducer of skeletal stress. (Lieberman 2010, Squadrone 2009, O’Leary 2008, Divert 2005, Laughton 2003, Ekenman 2002, Milgrom 1998, Hennig 1996, Cole 1995, Bergmann 1995, Nigg 1987)
The concept of biomechanical correction of foot pronation through shoe-integrated technology has also been questioned. (Stacoff 2000)
5. A systematic review in 2008 mentioned that the integration PECH technology into running shoes to reduce the incidence of injury is without scientific basis. (2008-Richards)
An increase in the incidence of injury over time has been observed in certain studies. (2010-Knapik, 1988-Marti)
6. A systematic review has associated vertical loading rate with stre ss fractures. (2011-Zadpoor)
Des études montrent que cette vitesse de force d’impact (verticale loading rate) est augmentée par les chaussures modernes TAP comparée au pied nu. (2010-Lieberman)
7. Constant protection of the foot through shock-absorbing structures of PECH shoes causes less resistance to the stress of localized pressure. Weakening of foot tissue and barefoot sensitivity have been observed in patients.
8. The tissues that are most at risk in the transition to minimalist shoes are the same tissues weakened by modern PECH shoes: the calves, Achilles tendon, plantar fascia and forefoot (metatarsal heads). Therefore, a gradual transition to a minimalist should is advised.
9. In light of this information, even in the absence of a randomized clinical study to justify the prescription of minimalist shoes, I strongly advise against modern PECH-type shoes for anyone undertaking a running program, eve n for older patients, or those presenting a weight problem or excessive pronation or supination.

Blaise Dubois, PT, RCAMT, Sport Physio Diploma

95 Chemin du Brûlé, Lac Beauport (Qc), Canada, G3B 0P9
Phone : +1.418.907.8171

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