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Are expensive running shoes worth the price?

No, according to an article in The British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM) announcing that expensive running shoes are a waste of money. This is validation for all of us who have found through our own personal experience that cost does not always equal comfort. Perhaps, however, not such happy news for the manufacturers of high-end sports shoes.

What was the investigation trying to prove?

The objective of the investigation was to determine if more expensive running shoes provide better cushioning of plantar pressure and are more comfortable than low-cost alternatives from the same brand. Three pairs of running shoes were purchased from three different shoe companies at three different price ranges: low, £40-45 (around $82 to $93); medium, £60-65 (around $124 to $135); and high £70-75 (around $144 to $155). A device called a Pedar measured and recorded the in-shoe plantar pressure. Comfort was assessed with a 100 mm visual analogue scale. While the 43 participants ran on a treadmill, a follow-up study was then conducted to see if shoe cushioning and comfort were comparable to walking.

What was the conclusion?

The scientists concluded that low and medium cost running shoes in each of the three brands tested provided the same (if not better) cushioning of plantar pressure as high-cost running shoes. The researchers also announced that "comfort is a subjective sensation based on individual preferences and was not related to either the [measured] distribution of plantar pressure or cost."

Some local stores for good athletic shoes in the Lancaster/Palmdale area:

K Swiss Outlet
44950 Valley Central Way
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 940-7666

Lady Foot Locker
1233 W Rancho Vista Blvd Ste 1121
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 273-5040

Nicole Sports Shoes
2520 E Palmdale Blvd
Palmdale, CA 93550
(661) 274-1266

Pacific Sunwear
1233 W Rancho Vista Blvd Ste 741
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 538-1281

Payless ShoeSource
1034 W Avenue K
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 945-9199

Payless ShoeSource
1233 W Rancho Vista Blvd Ste 537
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 266-2610

Payless ShoeSource
37134 47th St E Ste B
Palmdale, CA 93552
(661) 533-3494

Payless ShoeSource
412 W Rancho Vista Blvd Ste B
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 538-1048

Payless ShoeSource
44450 Valley Central Way
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 940-8211

Payless Shoesource, Inc.
2271 E Palmdale Blvd A
Palmdale, CA 93550
(661) 265-9712

Payless Shoesource, Inc.
43901 15th St W
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 945-5700

Reebok
44950 Valley Central Way # 101
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 726-9362

Reebok Factory Direct Store
44840 Valley Central Way
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 726-9362

Shoe Pavilion
39451 10th St W
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 267-1392

Smart Step Family Shoes
40340 170th St E
Palmdale, CA 93591
(661) 264-3263

Sneaker & Shoe Outlet
1035 W Avenue I
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 729-2526

Lady Foot Locker
1233 W Rancho Vista Blvd Ste 1121
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 273-5040

Nicole Sports Shoes
2520 E Palmdale Blvd
Palmdale, CA 93550
(661) 274-1266

Reebok
44950 Valley Central Way # 101
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 726-9362

Reebok Factory Direct Store
44840 Valley Central Way
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 726-9362

Shoe Pavilion
39451 10th St W
Palmdale, CA 93551
(661) 267-1392

Smart Step Family Shoes
40340 170th St E
Palmdale, CA 93591
(661) 264-3263

Sneaker & Shoe Outlet
1035 W Avenue I
Lancaster, CA 93534
(661) 729-2526

Vans Shoes
2066 W Avenue J J
Lancaster, CA 93536
(661) 945-0899

The study took place at the Institute of Motion Analysis & Research, University of Dundee, UK. The authors of the study are Richard Thomas Clinghan, Graham P. Arnold, Tim S. Drew, Lynda Cochrane and Rami J. Abboud.

For more information click on www.bjsm.bmj.com.

Comments

  • 805toes 4 years ago

    What about those new shoes that are supposed to firm your butt and strengthen thighs and calves? Do they really work?

  • Tim W. 4 years ago

    Indeed, expensive shoes do not always guarantee the benifits, protection, and even comfort for the feet. The article is extremely informative, which is based on the scientific evidence and fact. LOVE READING IT AND BRAVO TO THE AUTHOR!!!

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