Anyone who has ever been on the market for running shoes knows that a trip to a sports retailer can get complicated fast. To find the shoe most likely to help you prevent injury, you may have been asked to consider factors such as “foot pronation” or “impact factor.”
Now, new research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that the best running shoe to prevent injury may just be the shoe that’s most comfortable.
“Comfort is difficult to define and to quantify,” researchers wrote in the study. “However, it seems that shoe comfort is important for running injuries as well as running performance.”
Many runners believe foot pronation, the roll of the foot wall while moving, and impact force while exercising determine which shoes best fit a particular runner. But researchers looked at decades of research on connections between sports shoes and injuries and found no meaningful association between those factors.
‘Two variables that were thought to be the prime predictors of running injuries are not valid,” the said in the study.
The study authors wrote that many runners have likely avoided injury in the past by selecting shoes they find comfortable.