Infographic: The Truth About Super Shoes & Running Shoes

We’ve added a topical new infographic to our popular series!

There is so much talk around athletic footwear, and particularly super shoes at the moment. So, I decided to add to my series of infographics citing the very latest research to cut through all the nonsense, and to give you, Bartold Clinical family,  the very best clinical advice re running shoes!

This is all pretty pragmatic, it is based on the facts published in the current literature.


The truth about the “super shoes”:

A whole new category has entered the running shoe vocabulary…”super shoes”. This emotive term describes the rush by all major companies to compete with the record-breaking Nike Vaporfly 4% and family.

Characterised by high tech foams, carbon fibre plates, extreme stack heights and pronounced rockers, these shoes have re-written the rule books. But what do we really know, is there a downside to the proposed performance advantages?


This infographic attempts to clarify the current knowledge.



Check out the full collection of athletic footwear infographics here – and some more English infographics below.


The truth about running shoes:

Original, Simon Bartold

The truth about Minimalist shoes:

One of THE great controversies in sports medicine in recent years sprung up around the claims that minimalist footwear, that is, footwear with a heel to toe gradient of 4mm or less, was a solution for all runners in relation to technique and injury.

Well of course this is a total load of balony, runners respond differently to different footwear.. period! However, do  not think that minimalist footwear is bad.. or good for that matter. It is neither, but, if you understand footwear, you can use this knowledge to help your running athletes. If you do  not understand, you WILL hurt them!


Original, Simon Bartold

The truth about Maximalism shoes:

Yet another paper asserting that ‘maximalist shoe’ may increase impact loading. This issue is going to shake out sometime soon, and I hope this new infographic will help to bring some sanity to the discussion.

 Original, Simon Bartold

The truth about Motion Control and cushioning shoes:

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 efficacy. 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.

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

Original, Simon Bartold



It is critical that you, as sports medicine clinical experts, do not get bogged down with the hype, the myths and the folklore surrounding running footwear. Motion control strategies do not work and do not reduce injury. Cushioning does not reduce impact peaks and does not reduce injury. Minimalist footwear will not make you forefoot strike or run faster and it will not reduce injuries. Maximalist footwear will not reduce impact peaks and may compromise the economy.

It is unlikely also that this type of footwear will have a systematic effect on injury!

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