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Building a better running shoe
Karen Owen, CTV Calgary
Published Monday, June 23, 2014 6:04PM MDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 25, 2014 12:14PM MDT
For decades researchers have tried to build a better running shoe.
The ideal running shoe would improve performance and help to prevent injuries.
However, it appears neither performance nor injury rates have improved in spite of decades of research.
One study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2009 suggests that there is no evidence to show that shoe design impacts injury or performance.
But researchers aren’t giving up, instead they are looking in another direction when it comes to improving running shoes.
Comfort is now the buzz word. There’s growing evidence to show that if a running shoe feels comfortable, it will probably the runner to buy.
Comfort seems to be the best indicator that the running shoes are working with your own personal biomechanics.
Stefan Hoerzer, at the University of Calgary, Faculty of Kinesiology, is conducting research investigating the link between performance, injury reduction, and comfortable shoes.
Hoerzer says “we actually came up with the term the comfort filter. So your body knows what's good for you and you should really listen to your body.”
He adds that his new shoe study will look further into the comfort/biomechanical connection and “hopefully I will know why comfort has its benefits in improved performance and reduced risk of injuries and how we can isolate those benefits.”
The running shoe business is big business. According to Forbes Magazine it’s a 21 billion dollar industry in the U.S.
Stefan Hoerzer is looking for over more participants for his study.
He wants male recreational athletes, ages 18-45, with a shoe size between 9 and 10.5. No recent lower limb injuries.