Expensive trainers are a waste of money

Oct 11, 2007

Expensive trainers are not worth the money, finds a small study published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Cheap and moderately priced running shoes are just as good, if not better, in terms of cushioning impact and overall comfort, it concludes.

The research findings are based on a comparison of nine pairs of trainers, bought from three different manufacturers, in three different price ranges. The cheapest pairs were priced at £40 to £45, with the moderate range costing £60 to £65. The three most expensive pairs cost £70 to £75.

The 43 participants were not told how much any of the shoes cost.

Plantar pressure - the force produced by the impact of the sole hitting the ground - was recorded in eight different areas of the sole, using a special device (Pedar) attached to the shoes.

Different models performed differently for different areas of the foot. But, overall, there were no major differences among the shoes, irrespective of brand or price.

In fact, plantar pressure was lower in the cheap to moderately priced shoes, although this difference was not statistically significant.

Runners were also asked to rate the comfort of the shoes from “least” to “most comfortable imaginable,” using a validated graded scale.

Comfort ratings varied considerably, but there were no obvious differences among the shoes. And price was no indicator of comfort score.

Running produces sizeable shock waves to the bones of the foot, which radiate to other bones in the body. The force of the impact increases with speed and distance, say the authors.

Consequently, runners are prone to knee pain, stress fractures, muscle tears and osteoarthritis.

The type of cushioning in the soles of running shoes aims to prevent this damage, with expensive trainers deemed to be the most effective.

Source: British Medical Journal

Explore further: New Dominican law OKs abortion if life at risk

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

US seeks China's help after cyberattack

19 minutes ago

The United States is asking China for help as it weighs potential responses to a cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment that the U.S. has blamed on North Korea.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

17 hours ago

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

18 hours ago

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

18 hours ago

Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.