There’s been research done, according to several newspaper articles, one in the Mail and one in The Times putting forward the view that “plimsolls can outrun pricey trainers”. In an article by Lucy Maddox today in The Times, and citing an exercise physiotherapist from Northumbria University, who is of the view that pricey trainers with cushioned soles were not only no better than pumps, they could even teach your children bad running habits. There was a comparison between performance in running shoes and running barefoot, showing the position of the foot on landing, looking at heel striking from wearing trainers, which they say causes an impact on the body, where running barefoot, the runner tends to place the front or middle of the foot on the ground first. I was interested in this, as I ran a marathon in 1979 wearing plimsolls and did all my training in plimsolls, with no apparent ill effect. The reason for my footwear choice was practical, I couldn’t afford trainers and I had an old pair of plimsolls! However I’m not about to discard my running shoes yet, as wearing plimsolls could throw up a lot of other problems for runners, pronation, lack of support, etc etc. And there are sceptics including Bill Baltzopoulos, Professor of Bio-mechanics at Brunel University who said that there was no evidence that running on your front or mid-foot avoided other problems.
“Sportswear Fans of the World Unite, and Throw Away Your Trainers!” Telegraph.co.uk. N.p., 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 12 Sept. 2013.