risk in runners using standard or motion control shoes: a randomised controlled
trial with participants and assessor blinding.

Malisoux L,
Chambon N, Delattre N, Gueguen N, Urhausen A, and Theisen D. Br J Sports Med. 2015.
[Epub Ahead of Print].

Take Home Message: A recreational runner with motion
control running shoes was less likely to sustain an injury than a runner
wearing standard running shoes. Runners with pronated feet may benefit the most
from a motion control running shoe.

Advances in running
shoe technology are intended to decrease the risk of injury. For example,
motion control shoes are designed for runners with pronated feet, while neutral
stability shoes are intended for those with neutral feet, and cushioned shoes
are for runners with supinated feet. Unfortunately, the benefits of these shoe
recommendations are unclear. Therefore, Malisoux and colleagues completed a
randomized controlled trial to investigate if motion control running shoes
modified injury risk as compared to standard shoes in leisure-time runners. A
total of 372 healthy, recreational runners (18-65 years, minimum of 1 running
session per week) with no recent injuries completed the study. Two trained
assessors evaluated all runners’ foot posture using the six-item
Foot Posture Index (FPI). Individuals were
then randomly allocated into either a motion control shoe group or standard (neutral)
shoe group (187 and 185 runners respectively). The shoes looked identical but
the motion control shoe had a piece of rigid plastic at the underside of the
medial midfoot and an area of harder foam at the midsole. All runners received
running shoes. The authors tracked sports participation using an online
platform. Runners self-reported injuries, which were defined as impacting the
participant’s ability to perform for at least 1 day. Overall, 12,558 running
sessions were recorded, logging 72,528 miles (116,723 km). Ninety-three
participants sustained injuries during the follow-up period (33 injuries in the
motion control shoes group, 60 injuries in the standard shoe group). Overall,
participants in the motion control shoe group had a ~46% reduction in the risk
of an injury compared with the runners in a standard running shoe. Secondarily,
motion control shoes lowered the injury risk of runners with pronated feet but
not among runners with neutral or supinated feet.

The findings from this
large clinical trial suggest that motion control running shoes lower the risk
of injury when compared to standard running shoes. Furthermore, runners with
pronated feet, who are at greater risk of injury, may benefit from using motion
control running shoes. It would be interesting to see if these findings hold up
when injuries and lost time are confirmed by the study team rather than relying
on self-reported information. It would also be informative to know if we see
the same benefits in competitive runners and athletes in other sports. In the
meantime, clinicians should discuss shoe type and assess foot posture among
runners because motion control shoes may be beneficial, particularly to runners
with pronated feet.

for Discussion
: In your current setting, what input if any do you have in your
athlete’s footwear? Do you assess foot posture before an athlete starts training or buys running shoes?

Written by: Kyle Harris
Reviewed by:  Jeffrey Driban

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Malisoux, L., Chambon, N., Delattre, N., Gueguen, N., Urhausen, A., & Theisen, D. (2016). Injury risk in runners using standard or motion control shoes: a randomised controlled trial with participant and assessor blinding British Journal of Sports Medicine DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-095031