Il dibattito sulle scarpe da running di Vancouver - 26 gennaio 2012



The composition of the experts panel was somewhat unusual at the running shoes debate in Vancouver, BC. This is maybe a sign of things to come as health professionals start changing their mind. Here is a summary of each panel member's presentation and the corresponding video, as everyone was allowed only 5 minutes to communicate their opinion. Then you can watch the actual videos on CoreRunning.com by CLICKING HERE.


Showing an impressive resume, Jack Taunton presented a few of his latest research projects. Findings suggest that there may be advantages of wearing minimalist shoes compared to traditional running shoes for treating chronic plantar faciapathies and ankle sprains. An interesting study comparing minimalist shoes to traditional shoes will be shortly published, but Dr Taunton remained discrete about the conclusions... Stay tuned!


Adam Janke presented several interesting scientific papers emphasizing on adequate ankle range of motion instead of strength as a pre-requisite for the transition to minimalism. He also brought that mobility restrictions could be caused by elevated heel shoes. According to Adam, one would benefit from wearing more minimalist shoes in the everyday life in order to stimulate more durable adaptations.


Curb Ivanic considers that running shoes are a secondary factor in the prevention of injuries compared to training regimen and history of injury. His experience as a coach brings Curb to favour the variety of stimulation (surface, speed, intensity, movements) including shoes. The question of running shoes protection utility for biomechanical changes caused by exhaustion (e.g. the end of a marathon) was also brought up.


Joseph Stern's speech was really the only one favouring modern technologic running shoes. Despite the fact that his position was quite difficult to defend from a scientific point of view, he brought some interesting questions such as: "Why change modern running shoes if they work? " His strong point was clearly the shoe fitting. Indeed, the industry being in a transition phase, the variety of minimalist shoes remains limited for accommodating every foot shape.


Jon Teipen was sent by Brooks to expose the company's vision, which tries to satisfy runners who prefer to "feel" the ground as well as those who like to "float". His speech showed that Brooks' objective is clearly to satisfy all runners and not to evaluate their shoes in order to offer shoes that are more efficient in the prevention of injuries. He did tease the crowd and panel when he mentioned his company's participation to a 5-year prospective study to come in collaboration with Drs Hamill and Bruggeman... we will see!


As the last speaker, Blaise Dubois asked the audience why wearing big absorbing and technological shoes took over runners practices for the last few decades. By exposing current known science, he attempted to demonstrate that these bad habits are not based over evidence and that it is time to change them. He then concludes by presenting the few exceptions that, as a clinician, bring him to prescribe these big absorbing and technological shoes to some runners.