Why Trying To “Prescribe” Footwear Will Never Work

Why Trying To “Prescribe” Footwear Will Never Work is part 2 of RUNNING SHOE “PRESCRIPTION”: A FOOLS ERRAND?. To quote Macbeth as he ponders the death of the malignant Lady Macbeth, the concept of “footwear prescription” is “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” Haha… Strong words no doubt,…

Simon Bartold
Director of Bartold Clinical

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6 responses to “Why Trying To “Prescribe” Footwear Will Never Work”

  1. Not having full details on this testing procedure wouldn’t a great deal of this have to deal with a persons innate weaknesses. Week tendons, mobile joints, brittle bones, curved lower legs or mis-alligned joints. Over time isn’t a higher impact possibly going to start showing up even if the particular body does try to compensate for it? On a perfect specimen one joint may compensate for another but what of the imperfest.

    • Thanks for chiming in Steve. There is no really good evidence to say that impact, no matter what the circumstances, is positively related to injury. That said, what you propose seems intuitive, and I have little doubt that the argument becomes much more complex once we factor in biomechanical or physiologic deficiencies. The interesting thing about the Malisoux paper, which really is worth a read. is that he has offered an alternative and very plausible suggestion as to why injury appears to be more common in stiffer shoes.. and it has little to do with actual impact.

  2. Does this statement apply only to the “unknown” or first experience with a particular runner or also apply when trying solve current “issues, shin splints, knee pain, etc.” after the problem has presented itself.

    • The intention was to highlight why prescription of footwear often fails. There are good reasons for this. I will post some ideas on “recommendation vs prescription” which might help.

  3. If life was simpler I would probably be bored by now…
    Do we have any recommendations that stand up to scrutiny? Such as …buy the most comfortable…correct length and width…sport specific shoe that you can or is it buyer beware and don’t ask me.

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