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March 07, 2007

Modern time shoe industry went a long way until this state-of-the-art running sneakers appeared on the market of starved runners as something people call "hope". It was not a hope about the design that could make you look good and fashionable and make you run faster. Maybe female runners were interested in it at some point, but only until it came to the question of running comfortable and safe, and injury free.

It is from that point that a desire to have a nice looking shoe changed into a desire to have a shoe, that could protect runners from "unpredictable" injuries, pain and loss of pleasure of running. At this point of suffering of the body and mind they started to look for a solution from this nightmare.

Exactly this high demand served as the base for shoe companies to "develop" the hope, which they call motion control, motion stability running shoes, which are supposed to solve your problems with incurrence of injuries. Thus, these shoes were meant to prevent and protect you from any uncontrollable motion, instability, lack of cushioning, etc., and by doing so get you out of all your problems.

Alleluia, almost a divine solution for everything at once! So the moment you get your feet into these divine shoes – presto! You are free from your problems! Do you believe in this BS? I don´t! But look around and ask people why they are buying this BS? Because they sincerely believe in it, because it is written so in the ads for these shoes and lots of people, from a simple salesperson in a shop, to the manager, to the shoe companies representatives of all levels to coaches and finally to scientists with respected names and tons of research insist on the same thing that they all together sell to you – hope.

I wish that were true, but unfortunately it is not. There are two major thoughts behind this. The first one comes from a simple observation of reality. If any shoes indeed give you what they claim, then this article wouldn´t be written and I would be running with everybody in these shoes, confirming the truth of these claims with my own performance. But it is not so, as you yourself know and also from the sad experience of your teammates, friends and just fellow runners with whom you train and compete in the same city.

The second thought comes from a theoretical point and a major question here is: how, even the most advanced shoes, could substitute for something that has a divine origin and went through an incredible evolution. How could something like modern shoes, whose history of development is incomparably shorter than that of human body and mind, substitute for them? Are you really serious about this and never had any doubt? Well, then you were seriously brainwashed by shoe sellers. I guess, they sincerely believe in it themselves, but their belief still doesn´t help you run better and injury free. This fact you can´t ignore.

Well, what is the solution? If we start thinking that our body was designed with an incredible complexity of muscular and nervous systems work, still presenting a big puzzle for present time scientists and philosophers, then it is the best starting point of our rethinking process of the way of our movement (running) development, and our thoughts are coming much closer to what nature asked from us – our skill development.

I like Lawrence Gonzales´ quote from his book "Deep survival": "Nature doesn´t adjust to your level of skill". Yes, it is really so, and we have to think about our own skill development as the basis of our secure and injury free running.

Dr. Romanov

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