Sunday, February 24, 2008

A deafening silence?

A quick update regarding running shoe manufacturers and the apparently very uncomfortable issue of evidence.

Number of major running shoe manufacturers contacted= 18
Number who have responded= 11
Number who have provided evidence that their running shoes decrease injury rates= 0
(Number of legal threats= 0)

This is all very laissez-faire (let the buyer beware), but I think we can do better.

I think it is time to harness the power of numbers. I will post an online poll on this blog. If you want to see a straight answer from your cherished shoe brand posted on this blog then vote now!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Is there a running shoe mafia?

I have been busily contacting all the major shoe companies asking them to direct me to the evidence that their distance running shoes either prevent injuries or improve performance.
The most entertaining responses so far have been from Mizuno and Puma who both claimed that whether or not their running shoes prevent injuries or improve performance was a trade secret.

Refusing to tell consumers whether or not your product works is certainly a unique marketing ploy!

They are not alone. I have received a similar response from ASICS in the past.

I received a preliminary reply from Brooks in which it was clear that they did not appreciate the question. Hopefully their next installment is a little more enlightening.

New Balance referred me to a website where the use of their shoes is justified on the basis of the opinion of their podiatrists.

Saucony were a breath of fresh air, their representative laying out it clearly that there is no direct evidence that their shoes either prevent injury or improve performance.

I will keep you updated as more replies come to hand!