Do running shoes cause osteoarthritis?

by admin on April 24, 2010

Do running shoes cause osteoarthritis? According to a lot of barefoot running websites and blogs they do. Where do that get that information from? They either seem to have made the claim up or based it on the press release that accompanied the Kerrigan et al study. Which is just another case of intellectual dishonesty as Kerrigan et al did not even do a study on osteoarthritis! How can you claim running shoes causes osteoarthritis based on research that did not even look at osteoarthritis? !!!! And we exposed two barefoot websites that even lied about it (how can we trust anything else they say if they do that?).

What does the actual evidence say from those who actually did a study on osteoarthritis? Given that 99.99% of runners use running shoes, then if running shoes caused osteoarthritis, then you would expect to see more osteoarthritis in runners compared to the general population, wouldn’t you? Like the well documented track record of not letting facts get in the way of a good story, the barefoot running community conveniently ignore that fact that there is no more osteoarthritis in the running shoe wearing population compared to the general population. This has been clearly shown in numerous studies now. Lets look at a few of them:

Rogers et al way back in 1985 showed that:

here is no association between moderate long distance running and the future development of osteoarthritis. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that neither heavy mileage nor the number of years running are contributory to the future development of osteoarthritis.

Before than in 1975, Puranen et al found no more OA in the hips of former elite runners. Lane et al in 1986 found that:

Running is associated with increased bone mineral but not, in this cross-sectional study, with clinical osteoarthritis.

Lane et al in 1993 showed:

In summary, running did not accelerate the development of radiographic or clinical OA of the knees

A more recent study in Germany by Schmitt et ak (2006) conlcued:

Osteoarthritis of the knee joint is rare in former elite marathon runners. The risk of osteoarthritis of the hip joint seems to be higher than in control subjects who do not engage in much sport.

Running shoes do not cause osteoarthritis. Get over it.

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