It’s no secret that I not only have a lot of shoes, but that I have a love for a lot of different shoes. If you look in my closet, you’ll find Saucony, Brooks, Mizuno, Altra, Skora, Vibrams, etc. and often more than one style from a brand. If it’s on the more minimalist end of the spectrum, chances are I have it and wear it. And I love them all for different reasons.
Now I’ve been given justification for my collection.
Saucony sent out an article yesterday about rotating your shoes. In it they referenced a recent study, “Can parallel use of different running shoes decrease running-related injury risk?” Being the geek librarian that I am, I tried to go to the source, but was unable to get my hands on full-text without paying. So, I did what I do best and hit up Google.
The gist of the study was that, yes, mixing up your running shoes does indeed help prevent injury.
It’s nice to find scientific research that backs up something I’ve been practicing for quite a while now. When I ran the Dust Bowl Series last year and ran 5 back to back half marathons, I alternated between my Saucony Virratas and my Brooks Pure Flow 2s each day. Neither shoe is my “perfect” shoe. (I have not yet found that shoe.) But both shoes work fairly well for me. What I found was that those body parts that were sore from the previous day’s run were not the ones that were bothering me by the end of that day’s run. My theory was that each shoe was imperfect for me in a different way, so I didn’t aggravate any one body part too much. I ran 65.5 miles that week, a good 15 miles more than my highest mileage week EVER before that, and I came out injury free. So, yes, rotating shoes worked for me.
For the last 11 months, I’ve continued to rotate. Perhaps I take it a bit to the extreme with the sheer number of different shoes I own, but it works for me. As such, I will continue to take each of my loves out for a run at least a few times a month.
And when Beer Geek complains about me having too many pairs of shoes? Well, now I have science on my side.
Article: Malisoux L, Ramesh J, Mann R, Seil R, Urhausen A, & Theisen D (2013). Can parallel use of different running shoes decrease running-related injury risk? Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports PMID: 24286345