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Running shoes injuries

An American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society online survey of over 1,200 runners found that almost two thirds had injuries that they related to their shoes; however, these injuries did not appear to be linked to how much the runners paid for their shoes or whether or not they used an inserted orthotic device.

"We did not expect that so many runners would have injuries related to their shoes or that the number of injuries would be unrelated to the cost of the shoe," said Cherise Dyal, M.D., Wayne, New Jersey, former Chair of the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Public Education Committee and the principal designer of the survey.

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Public Education Committee designed the survey to provide more information on foot and ankle injuries related to running and running shoes. "Runners' World", 24 Hour Fitness, Sweat.Com, and Runners Network along with several smaller local running websites collaborated with the study by adding a link to their websites.

The survey found that most respondents replaced their shoes within the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society recommended 300-400 miles guidelines. All injury types occurred predominantly in shoes less than six months old and in shoes in which the respondents had run less than 300 miles. "This suggests that most injuries occur during the break-in period rather than after the shoe is worn down," said Donald Bohay, M.D., Grand Rapids, Michigan, also an American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Public Education Committee member.

The Society has stressed the importance of proper shoe fit and comfort in the selection of shoes and respondents appear to be following American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society guidelines. Some (69%) of respondents say that comfort was their major reason for choosing a running shoe, followed by specific features of a shoe (13%) and the remainder almost split between the cost and brand.

The respondents to the survey were split evenly between men and women and across adult age ranges. Most commonly respondents ran 3-4 days a week (23%) and 4-6 miles per session (31%). However, men ran slightly more miles per session than women, and men were more likely to have a shoe related injury (68% of men and 57% of women).

The most common injuries reported included blisters, tendonitis, arch pain, stress fractures, foot pain and toenail injures in decreasing order of frequency. The only injury to occur more frequently than expected in a particular age group was stress fractures, with 60% occurring in respondents 20-30 years old. "This was a surprising result and merits more study," Dr. Dyal said. "You usually think of a stress fracture happening among older runners." She noted that there was no evidence to show that the younger respondents ran more miles.

The incidence of shoe related injury was not linked to how much people paid for their shoes or whether or not they used an inserted orthotic device. The survey did show overwhelming evidence that people are willing to pay a hefty amount for their running shoes, with 72% of people paying between $80-$100; however, there was no significant difference in incidence of injury between those paying $20 for shoes or those who paid $120. "These findings suggest proper fit and comfort of the shoe, not the price of the shoe, may be more important than specific features in the preventing injuries," said Nancy Kadel, M.D., an American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society Public Education Committee member in Seattle, Washington.

Credits - WorldwideRunning.com would like to thank the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society website (www.aofas.org) for the authorization to reprint the article "Survey Shows Runners Commonly Experience Shoe Related Injuries: Cost Of Shoes Bears Little Relationship To These Injuries".


Since September 7, 2007 - © Aerostato, Seattle - All Rights Reserved.

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