Over the course of three large studies, the most recent of which was published last month in The American Journal of Sports Medicine, the researchers found almost no correlation at all between wearing the proper running shoes and avoiding injury. Injury rates were high among all the runners, but they were highest among the soldiers who had received shoes designed specifically for their foot types. If anything, wearing the “right” shoes for their particular foot shape had increased trainees’ chances of being hurt. -Phys Ed: Do Certain Types of Sneakers Prevent Injuries?
MY COMMENT: I work for the Army- the reasons for a high rate of injuries in this population is obvious to me.
1. Amazingly, many bases have limited or no opportunities for running on any surface other than asphalt.
2. More active duty are overweight than ever before.
3. It seems to me that a large percentage of active duty simply aren't runners- they run because they are forced to. They have body types that simply aren't able to handle any kind of mileage period, and as a result break down easily.
4. Active duty often take extended leave or other duty assignments- without their running shoes. Weight gain and deconditioning during extended time away from their routine is the norm, not the exception. Then they come back and guess what happens?
I could go on and on but the bottom line is this- look for a correlation between body weight and injuries, and I think you'll find one much stronger than anything you'll find related to shoe type.
If I had a say, every soldier that cannot meet weight or run standards should be required to take a minimum of 3 spin classes per week.