Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Running shoes may damage your knees, hips

So, you are all geared up to kick-start your jogging after getting the latest and branded pair of running shoes? You might enjoy getting back to fitness regime but here is listed a study that revealed that running shoes can likely damage your knees, hips and ankles.

A research conducted recently, compared the impacts of bare foot running on hips, knees and ankle joint motions with running in modern running shoes. The conclusions showed that running shoes basically exert more pressure and stress on the joints of hips, knees and ankles as compared to running barefoot or even walking on high heels.

The study was conducted on 68 healthy young adult runners out of which 37 were women, who use running shoes while running. None of these subjects had any history of musculoskeletal injury and all of them ran for 15 miles each per week. The observation was done both for running with shoes and running bare foot on treadmill for all the subjects.

The researchers found out that there was an enhanced joint torque at the hip, knee and ankle with running shoes as compared to running barefoot. Further studies confirmed that even though the construction of our modern day shoes can provide good support and protection to our feet, a major drawback can be that they increase the stress on hip, knee and ankle joint areas. This problem is likely due to the elevated heel and increased material under the medial arch, both characteristic of today's running shoes.

The study was published in the latest issue of PM&R: The journal of injury, function and rehabilitation. 


  1. I agree with some of the information in the post, but I think it really depends on what type of shoes one normally use. The advent of barefoot running shoes is one of the most popular and therapeutic shoes in the market today. There's a study that shows barefoot shoes have health benefits for our body not only for the lower legs. To read in detail, visit the link here.

  2. Great article : ) We reviewed this work in the forthcoming book about running barefoot and discuss how the smallest alterations to the way one lands poses risks for not only the foot, but the rest of the body. Great overview of this study.

  3. @Cynthia

    Thanks!! :)...Apart from that, I felt that testing on just 68 people was too less for confirming an analysis. They should have tested on more people that too from different countries and continents!!

  4. Thanks for liking the article Twinlance book!! :)

  5. In doing some reading and speaking to the guys at running stores one thing seems to be evident. For many people they want too much too fast and are not willing to slow into the transition to barefoot running. For many the reason they are making the transition is that the have experience injuries and the traditional brace and support philosophy has not made sneeze to them. However they need to realize that the injuries and discomfort the forced the need for the traditional treatment was years in the making, and the faulty mechanics that most likely were the true cause of the injuries were also years in the making. It is not realistic to assume that in a few weeks you can reverse decades of problems. What has made sense to me and has proven successful is the use of the foot strengthening biofeedback insoles. So the times that I can not be barefoot or be doing my barefoot exercises my feet are at least exposed to a subconscious firing of the muscles. So as opposed to getting exposed to exercise 2-03 times a week for 40 minutes or so, my feet are exposed to exercise 24/7. In the big picture it makes sense and the underlying science sums pretty simple and straight forward. Just something to think about for those growing impatient with making the transition, or not wanting their feet to weaken over the winter. Ps. There is a considerable amount of snow on the ground right now.


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