Are running shoes a waste of money?

Not sure if you guys have seen this but very interesting…

Interesting article. I’ve always been curious about the impact of current sprint spike designs on performance and injury incidence. When I was an athlete back 20 years ago, the spikes were more flexible through the mid-sole, with a hard spike plate.

Now, the majority of sprint spikes are much more rigid right through the entire sole of the shoe - as if the rigidity of the spike plate has been extended through the entire length of the shoe.

I know that Charlie has been concerned about the ability of the sprint spike shoe to flex in the appropriate joints along the foot to minimize stress through the achilles tendon.

What have others on the forum seen with the recent designs of sprint spikes?

Of course, I’ve been concerned but I also wonder if the spike are part of the ‘unit’ with the new tracks. i really owuld like to hear something on that topic from the manufacturers. That said, it is still possible to work the foot with barefoot drils if the grass is soft, in perfect condition, and has had every inch of it checked for broken glass, nails, dead bees, etc.

The dead bees aren’t that much of a problem It’s the LIVE ones that hurt.


The Daily Mail!?

I’ve seen this article posted somewhere before. Read the caption under the first picture!

The sting from a dead wasp can be worse than from a live one. You step on it, its stinger goes into your foot, then you proceed to squish the wasp which forces a large amount of poison into your body. I’ve done this, but fortunately I’d developed a mild immunity to their poison after a particularly bad incident in which I was stung well over 100 times within a couple minutes when I was 9, though I’ve heard that such things usually results in an increased sensitivity.

I can’t imagine how much that hurt. You also want to watch for ground hornets which like low places with tall grass. Way worse than a bee sting.

Seems like neoprene dive slippers would get most of the benefit of bare feet with reduced risk.

It’s all about the Vibram Five Fingers shoes.

Mortac I saw a guy doing Crossfit Olympic lifting in those… well trying. It was humorous to say the least.

ona similar topic are orthotics a waste of money if you have a good pair of shoe.Have had a lot of lower leg injuries lately and have decided to take my orthotics out after 10 yrs of wearing them.

After 10 years I hope you would take them out. Orhtotics aren’t meant to last a lifetime. Whether or not someone should use orthotics is a controversial topic with some people saying everyone with a minor foot problem should wear them and then others who say no one should ever wear them.

The truth probably lies closer to the middle of these extremes with each case being looked at individually.

There is also quite a difference in types of orthotics from $5-10 Dr. Scholls Drug store models to $300-500 professional ones made by a podiatrist or other licensed health professional. I’m not always sure that the expensive ones are worth all the money and have had many clients who were happy with cheaper ones like the “Superfeet” brand found in some running and sporting good stores.

There is a physio and coach here who advocates the same thing and says the cheapest shoes are the best and if at all possible run barefoot. He is currently doing research on The effect of footwear on sensori-motor factors within the body and relationship for the prevention of injuries

Below is from his site

Information for patients

The body has the intrinsic capacity to heal itself. If you cut your skin, there will be slight swelling and redness around it, and it will hurt. Within time, it will heal with a scab, a scar and eventually be nearly invisible. If we keep on cutting ourselves at the same place, healing will not take place. The skin will slowly degenerate and become weak. After a while, even a small injury will hurt disproportionately to the severity. The same process counts for injuries to tendons, muscles, ligaments, joints and bone.

If we keep on injuring a joint or muscle, over time, the structures will become weaker and more easily damaged. The strength of the structure depends on whether we allow it to heal. It basically depends on what we do to our body.

It is normal for humans to walk and run. Each person has an individual style of walking and running, that is normal – we have a “preferred skeletal pathway”. As the heel (or forefoot) hits the ground, the foot has to absorb the impact forces of running. The body should be able absorb these forces without needing help from outside. The impact of walking and running results in minute vibrations that are sent via the leg, the pelvis and the spine up the whole body – right to the head. There is thus a connection between our feet, the pelvis, spine, arms and head. The vibrations are necessary to act as a signal for the muscles. The muscles contract to absorb excessive vibration and to stabilise the body, functioning as natural shock-absorbers or guy-ropes. The muscles therefore protect our body. This protection has to occur before energy is available for the actions of walking, working or running. If we interfere with our body’s normal reaction to impact, for example by wearing shoes that are worn out or too soft, the body may not get the correct signal. The muscles will not be protective. Over time, the body will get damaged.

Stressful situations or major incidents in our life, such as a fall, motor accident, giving a difficult birth, or other injury, can change the way our body reacts to normal forces of daily life, work and sports. We can also misuse our body, leading to decreased ability to absorb the forces and to heal when injury occurs. Over time, overuse injuries develop. Thus a small injury (such as an ankle sprain) may never recover normally, or it may increase previous pain in other areas of the body, such as the pelvis or spine. We therefore need to assess the effect of an injury on the function of the whole body, as opposed to just the local joint (such as the ankle).


We can treat swelling, pain, inflammation and muscle weakness with medication and physiotherapy. But if we do not sort out what could be causing or contributing towards the problem, the body may not heal optimally. Alternatively, other areas of the body may develop pain.

At Sole Physiotherapy, contributing factors towards your injury will be analysed. This may include asking questions pertaining to your family history, previous injuries, work situation and sports training. You have the right to choose not to inform the physiotherapist of these. However, this would make it more difficult to analyse your injury.

Your shoes will be assessed, as these can be important factors adding towards injuries. The approach here will not attempt to change your natural biomechanics. The assessment will determine, whether the shoes make you more efficient.

Inserts may be used to place your foot as closely as possible to your natural position during walking and running in that shoe. If the inserts prove to be uncomfortable at any time, the physiotherapist would need to be informed.

If you have a long-standing problem, more than one appointment may be needed to analyse contributing factors to your injury.

Once these factors have been dealt with, manual therapy may be used to treat remaining pain or stiffness. Rehabilitation exercises may need to be performed to strengthen your body, as relevant to your specific work or sports.

You will be taught to monitor yourselves – your symptoms, the shoes you wear, your posture during work and sport, your general activity and training programmes, as applicable.

Constant re-assessment of your condition and your goals is imperative for good outcomes of treatment. If your symptoms do not improve, should they get worse and if your goals are not achieved, the physiotherapist would need to be notified to modify treatment appropriately.

If you would like more information of the approach used at Sole Physiotherapy, or have any concerns, please discuss these with Chris Sole.

Articles from published research to support his approach are available.