I receive a lot of press releases and emails. Some are not relevant to my blog and get deleted, others are both relevant and informative. Last week I received an email about a couple of subjects I’ve thought about quite a lot recently – arch support in running shoes and customised insoles.
The RunRepeat team recently published the results from a meta analysis of more than 150 studies about arch support and its impact on injury risk, balance, and running economy for runners.
They dispelled quite a few myths and found that:
- Arch support and features like motion control or stability doesn’t make a huge difference to injury risk, balance, or performance.
- The more arch support you want the higher the shoe price
- Choosing shoes based on wet test or your arch type might be a bad idea
Although the research article took more than 185 hours to write and is therefore slightly too long to share here, the authors produced this useful infographic that presents the key findings.
As a runner who can’t actually run without customised insoles, I found both the article and the infographic very informative. Both left me with quite a lot to think about.
The authors concluded their article as follows:
“Arch support cannot make a huge difference to injury risk, balance, or performance for runners. There is no point spending extra money on arch support in shoes or shoe inserts, just because a salesman thinks your arch is a little too high or low. However, custom orthotics or specific shoes can help with pain management and dealing with certain foot related problems when used after consulting with a physician or certified coach.”
I’m a member of quite a few online running groups, and I agree that many runners appear to be getting pushed into buying expensive shoe inserts they probably don’t need. A certain sports retailer with stores across the UK actually encourages their staff to sell shoe inserts whenever they sell a pair of trainers. If I was an inexperienced runner, I would probably incorrectly assume that I was talking to an ‘expert’ and would fall for the sales pitch.
If sharing this article prevents just one runner from buying shoe inserts they don’t need I’ll be happy 🙂
Did you find the research article interesting? As someone with dodgy feet and arches I thought the article was pretty informative.
Had you realised that the more arch support you want in a pair of trainers the higher the shoe price? I definitely hadn’t realised I’m being penalised for having dodgy feet!