Where did all the strength and longevity in running shoes go? I can remember shoes lasting 500-600 miles 15 years ago. Nowadays, if you get more than 300 miles, you probably weigh 125 pounds or have excellent running mechanics. All the running shoe companies used to make some models that were “board lasted.” That means when you pull out the shoe’s insole, a board (cardboard-like material) would be located from the heel to the midfoot area of the shoe to make the shoe stronger and last longer. Today’s running shoes remind me of the Wendy’s commercial where the little old lady said, “Where’s the beef?” Are you getting the message? Yes, the shoe companies are motivated to sell shoes and the more the better, especially for the finance department and stockholder.
The “Run Free” book and subsequent minimalist shoe movement became a huge opportunity for all the shoe companies to get into this current trend and “fad.” Remember just a couple years ago when Skechers and Reebok had their hands slapped for false health claims about their Shape-Ups and Tone Ups? I do enjoy the financial benefits from the injuries caused by this quasi-science, but am looking forward to future running shoes that can enhance shock absorption and increase the longevity of the shoes. If you visit How to Choose a Running Shoe and see some examples of Dr. Paul’s favorite running shoes in The Right Running Shoe, you will probably be able to stay off the disabled list and out of my office.
Dr. Paul R. Copeskey, D.C., C.C.F.C.