"There is always the risk of injuries from using lightweight shoes"
I've been running almost exclusively in lightweight shoes for the past five years or so, and in that time I've had fewer injuries than at any other time in my 25-year running career. I do lots of running, for example, in Nike Mayfly shoes, which are recommended to be ditched after 100k (mine have done 250 miles and counting - still work well). You need to read Gordon Pirie's book - very interesting. He claims that most running injuries are caused by heavyweight, over-cushioned and over-engineered shoes.
just interested in this....but do any top runners run in lightweight trainers? I know none race barefoot.
Just interested as surely if the top runners, ie the most biomechanically sound runners in the world don't...why anyone else would dream of doing so?
of course a fair few people will get success in lightweight/barefoot...but then loads and loads will get monster injuries
@Stevie G - but then loads and loads will get monster injuries
You seem to be implying that there is a correlation between running in lightweight shoes or racing flats, and "monster injuries". Can you point to any research that supports this? Because the research I've seen points to the opposite - that it's the heavy, over-engineered, over-cushioned "training" shoes that are mostly to blame. I'm by no means an elite - not with a 10k PB of 37m and a half mara of 1h 21m - and neither am I biomechanically sound - in fact, I wear prescription orthotics. But the majority of injuries to which I used to be prone - particularly calf strain/tear and achilles problems - have completely disappeared since I switched to flats.
And yes, I know that the plural of anecdote is not data. But that's the way it's worked out for me.
One time I wore light trainers and spent a week injured.
Another runner i know got a stress fracture through too much running in light weight trainers.
those are 2 examples that leave me wary.
Do you know of any top runners who wear lighter trainers or barefoot?
Of course for some it'll work, but then for some running 160miles a week is fine.
What was your injury, and how do you know it was caused by the shoes? And what shoes were they?
Another runner i know got a stress fracture through too much running in light weight trainers
Again, how do you know the stress fracture was through too much running in the wrong sort of shoes?
I'm not saying you're wrong - but it's no more compelling than my anecdotal "evidence" that lightweight shoes have protected me.
If we're talking about top runners running barefoot, then look no further than Abebe Bikila. However, you'd be unlikely to find any truly elite runners advocating running barefoot because they depend on shoe company sponsorship. I used to train with an elite 800m runner (now retired) who preferred to run in lightweight training shoes and always raced in flats. He told me that the shoes that the likes of Paula Radcliffe run in are custom-made to her own personal last and specifications, but are badged to look like the shoes she endorses (for example, Nike Air Zoom Marathoner). I did hear that when she changed from (I think) Asics to Nike, they simply rebadged her Asics shoes as Nikes, until Nike were able to create shoes she liked.
I'm not advocating that everyone should immediately rush out and buy a pair of Nike Mayflys and do all their training in them. It worked for me, though I did start with "performance trainers" such as Saucony Fastwitch. Read Gordon Pirie's book (he was an elite runner who recognised that lumpy training shoes might not be protecting runners in the way they claim to) - the book is available on-line (link somewhere upthread).
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