The TRUTH about Motion Control and Cushioning

Motion control strategies for running shoes, in the form of dual density midsoles, were first introduced in 1982, and were the brainchild of Barry Bates.

They remain in mainstream running footwear 36 years later, despite there being virtually zero evidence for their effficacy.

The notion that motion control strategies in running shoes will protect from or reduce injury has never been scientifically established. Likewise, cushioning has been a mainstay of marketing for running shoes for at least 40 years.

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In 1977 Professor Benno Nigg showed that cushioning did not systematically reduce peak impact forces, the presumed reason for cushioning.

In 1988 he showed that increasing midsole hardness systematically decreased peak impact load.

So, we must seriously question the role of both motion control and cushioning in running footwear, especially as it relates to injury.

In short, motion control parameters do not reduce injury.

Cushioning parameters do not reduce injury.

This is the TRUTH about motion control and cushioning!

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Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical

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