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Cost of Running Shoes Does Not Determine Quality

Test finds lower-priced shoes provide better plantar cushioning overall

MONDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- More expensive running shoes do not necessarily provide better distribution of plantar pressure than less expensive shoes, or better comfort, researchers report in the October issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Richard Clinghan, of the Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, Scotland, and colleagues tested three pairs of running shoes in three price ranges from three different, unnamed manufacturers. A Pedar in-shoe pressure measurement system was used to determine walking plantar pressure on 43 male subjects, who also rated the shoes for comfort. Brand logos were obscured, and a leisure brand of shoe in each size was included as a control.

Overall, the higher-priced shoes performed worse in cushioning plantar pressure on different areas of the foot than the lower- and medium-priced models. Subjective ratings of comfort did not correspond to either effectiveness of pressure distribution or cost.

"Different models of shoes performed better in terms of cushioning capacity under different areas of the foot," the authors noted. "Therefore, before any definitive conclusions concerning the relationship between cushioning and cost can be made, more models and more brands should be investigated."

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