Hard or Soft Midsoles for Injury Protection?

In a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, researchers provided 247 runners with identical running shoes – or rather, almost identical shoes. They were specially manufactured by a “renowned sport equipment manufacturer” so that half of them had relatively soft midsoles while the other half had relatively hard midsoles; the experiment was double-blinded so that neither the runners nor the researchers knew who was running in which shoes.

The runners, who had a wide mix of experience levels and averaged about 18 km per week, then ran for five months and reported any injuries. The result: runners in both groups were equally likely to get injured, regardless of which shoes they were running in. So who was more likely to get injured? Among other factors, new/less experienced runners and those who ran at a higher self-reported intensity were at greater risk. In other words, training “errors” were a better predictor of injury than the technology in the shoes the runners were wearing. Something to keep in mind.


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