In a sport where injuries are prevalent, as a runner, you’ll likely try almost anything to avoid agony and pain next time you hit the pavement—this includes making the switch to more cushioned sneakers in hopes that the extra shock-absorption will reduce the risk (or even prevent it altogether) or running-related ailments. But before you shell out your life savings on new sneakers marketed to have found the cure to injury via softer cushioning underfoot, think twice, because according to a recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, it may not make a difference.
In the double-blind study, researchers from the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory of the Department of Public Health in Luxembourg provided 247 runners with shoes that either had a soft midsole, or one that was more firm, to see what effects cushioning had on preventing running-related injuries (RRI).
The result: After collecting five months of data, researchers concluded that midsole hardness does not, in fact, influence RRI risk.
“The results do not support the common argument from the running shoe industry that runners with higher body mass should be recommended shoes with greater shock-absorption characteristics,” lead author Daniel Theisen told Reuters.
Looks like we can now chalk this one up in our list of 10 common performance footwear myths, debunked.