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More Support for Rotating Shoes to Reduce Running Injury Risk

Posted on March 13 2014

A few months back I wrote a post on a study that found that rotating running shoes can reduce injury risk for runners. The logic is that shoes of different construction alter how forces are applied to the body, and that by rotating among a few different types of shoe we mix up the way the body is stressed on each run (particularly for those who run mostly on uniform surfaces like asphalt roads). If we avoid stressing the body the same way every time we head out the door, we reduce the risk of a repetitive stress injury to a given tissue. Seems logical, and it’s a practice that I both advocate and employ myself.

A new study by a group of researchers from Luxembourg seems to lend additional support to this idea. On his blog, Running Research Junkie, Craig Payne summarizes the research by saying:

“This was a prospective cohort study in which the runners that were recruited recorded training related data. They compared the training data between the group that got an injury and the group that did not.

What they found was:

  • those that ran more than 2hrs a week were at a lower risk for injury
  • parallel use of more than one pair of running shoes was protective
  • the week-to-week absolute change in distance was protective
  • a previous injury was a risk factor (which pretty much every study has also shown)

I don’t have much of a critique of the study as what we know is just based on the abstract above, but nothing jumps out at me at this stage as being an issue.”

So those who used more than one pair of running shoes regularly in training had a reduced risk of injury. Since it’s only an abstract from a conference it’s unclear if this could be two different pairs of the same shoe, or if they had to be two different shoes, but the results suggest benefit to not doing every single run in the same pair of shoes.

Head over to Running Resarch Junkie to read the abstract and for additional commentary.

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