For many years now, several podiatry specialist have advised patients to seek out the right sneaker when dealing with heel and arch pain. That being said I’m of the opinion that a blanket statement about shoe weight or flexibility is antiquated. Studies from world renowned bio-mechanist, Benno Nigg (author of Biomechanics of Running Shoes), have shown that comfort is the most important factor when selecting shoe-gear. As with comfort, comes metabolic efficiency which decreases pathology.
Additionally, the podiatry community knows that there is NO PERFECT shoe or type of shoe! Each individual has his/her own movement pattern, like a fingerprint, and will respond best to shoes that allows the individual to move better. Personally, I’m an evangelist, advocating for patients to wear the least possible shoe that they are comfortable with. The paradigm of multi density mid-soles with high rear-foot to forefoot drop adds (I changed from causes, because i think add reads better) unnecessary weight to the shoe which, in turn, negatively affects gait.
Talented physical therapists, like Jay Dichary (author of Running Rewired), have shown that pathology is multi-factorial, specifically affected by functional imbalances and weaknesses, which must be addressed. My critique on this subject is strongly supported and documented by peer-reviewed Evidence Based Medicine.
The AAPSM annual meeting is a great place to come and share ideas and concepts and learn the most up-to-date philosophies and treatment in the sports medicine world.