The relationship between the use of the right running shoe and getting a running injury is a controversial topic. There are strongly help opinions for both sides of this debate and there is not a lot of scientific research to help resolve the debate. The belief is that a runner needs the correct running shoe for their biomechanics in order to prevent an overuse injury from occurring, so if the wrong shoe is used there is an increased risk for injury. However, the actual evidence that supports that commonly held content is just not there leading to the opinions and debates about this issue. The running shoe market is worth several billion dollars and up to half or more runners gets an injury each year, so a lot is at stake in this debate.
On an episode of the podiatry livestream, PodChatLive the hosts talked with the runner and podiatrist Michael Nitschke about this issue and what role, generally does the running shoe play in running injury. They also specifically discussed a new shoe from Nike which they claim will lower the injury rate. There is some Nike funded research that supports this claim, but that research has not yet been published leading to lots of conjecture and further fuelling the debate on this issue. The episode was valuable as it considered all the issues without taking one side or another. The two hosts and Michael Nitschke are all runners themselves and have to make decisions not only for what shoes are they going to run in but also make recommendations to their patients that they see with clinical problems. This has to be done in the context of the uncertainty with all the evidence that underpins the prescription and use of running shoes. Above all, they believe that comfort is probably the most important factor to consider when making decisions about running shoes.