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The Best Running Shoe by Doug Katona - CrossFit Journal

The Best Running Shoe

By Doug Katona

Video Article

What’s the best running shoe? The one you like, says Doug Katona of CrossFit Endurance.

“All running is natural,” he explains.

Simply teach athletes good mechanics and problems will go away, Katona says.

In terms of minimalist shoes, he says they’re great except for one problem: “If you’re heel striking in a flat shoe, you’re really screwed. If you’re wearing a Vibram and you ... run a mile in bad mechanics, you’re screwed. So I don’t care what kind of shoe you wear. Wear a skateboard shoe. It doesn’t really matter.”

Bottom line, he emphasizes, is that good mechanics are what matter most.

“Pick up any pair of shoes and go,” Katona says. “That’s what you should all be able to do. The shoe will not determine how good of a runner you are or how fast of a runner you are.”

9min 44sec

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Additional reading: Running the Wrong Way? by Dr. Lon Kilgore, published March 17, 2010.

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8 Comments on “The Best Running Shoe”


wrote …

Thank you for this. Technique is clearly vital for efficient injury-free running. I find it depressing that in decades of dealing with fitness instructors none of them ever talked to me about the method in running. And yet coaching in technique is central to all sports. Hopefully this will now change. We need to be taught better.


wrote …

I don't think the argument of "any shoe with good mechanics will do" is complete. It's been shown that when people go barefoot (or vibrams, etc.) that they automatically change their stride to become more of forefoot striker and improve their mechanics. This has to be taken into account. I don't think you can say that all shoes are equal when one helps you adopt a more efficient stride more easily than the next.


wrote …

Try Newtons. They are quite revolutionary in that they almost force you to improve your technique and form. Best I've ever had.


wrote …

Newtons are tremendously good running shoes.


wrote …

A few things: 1. Great segment that comes up all the time in the office with marketing in the shoe industry catching up with evidence based fitness and specifically crossfit endurance. And well handled by the instructors.
2. Simpson, Russell, & Richard - the research you discuss does exist, but it is in terms of load absorption as opposed to improved running efficiency. In other words, barefoot running increases your natural sequence to decreasing load more effectively through foot/ankle/knee/hip/pelvis instead of crushing the heal and transmitting quickly to the pelvis and onward; however, it doesn't show a tendency to improve strike point in relation to center of gravity (Pose Technique's figure 4 position with COG in front of mid-forefoot strike). To put it all together we don't want to think the "gear", or lack there of, makes us better. The barefoot/Newton/Minimus... will not make us better runners; it will just give us better feedback on which our brain can make mechanical changes to our body to improve our efficiency. Our perception leads to changes in tilt/pull which improves technique.
Long story short - when the understanding and high level application of technique is achieved... you can run a damn good 5K in UGG's! (Crossfit's unknown and unknowable)

Again, great segment! No rush to go out and train in a minimalist shoe, especially if you still suck at functional movements. The progression towards increased capability with decreased assistance should be the focus.


wrote …

An interesting article, intriguing to hear a theory which contradicts the popular view that gel cushioned soles with large heels are the way to go. However, I have had a recent Achilles tendon injury and my sports physio suggested that me running in my flat running shoes was a contributing factor as she found I had a fallen arch in that foot.
She recommended buying a pair of gel cushioned runners with good arch support to help me recover and prevent further injury.
So... Use my physio's advise? Or try and find some running techniques and try and adapt?
Any thoughts?


wrote …

I own a running store in Va and shoe choice based on the customers needs is important. We do the whole treadmill thing to simply help with injury prevention and proper fit the first time. Newton running shoes by far are the best thing on the market and a lot of our customers leave in them. This video was informative however I do think shoe choice is important based on the runners gait. While Biomechanics is key, we don't want customers coming back in pissed because they're injured from the wrong shoe choice. Nothing sucks more then being a neutral foot in a motion control shoe. Thanks guys!


wrote …

How can you tell if it’s time to replace your minimalist shoes? Previously, when I wore the industry recommended shoes (motion controls etc. etc) it was recommended every few months, based upon wearing out the shoe’s heel absorbancy. I’ve been wearing minimalist shoes for about two years now. Now I think I just replace them based off of appearance of wear and tear, and taste for something new. Any feedback?

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