In a previous article I recommended that one should be polygamous with one’s choice in running shoe brand and not be afraid of trying new shoes. I also advocate that one should be polyamorous on a daily basis as opposed to a quarterly basis in regards to shoe models. Recent research has shown that rotating a variety of shoes can help to prevent and reduce injuries experienced from running.
The human body gets stronger as a result of stress. For example, if one looks at astronauts and long periods of time spent in space, we can see the effect of not stressing the muscualture. Due to the lack of gravity in space, the musculature is not stressed and therefore grows weaker. Upon returning from space, astronauts are quite weak and have lost significant amounts of muscle mass. NASA states that even during short flights of 5 to 11 days that astronauts can experience up to a 20% loss in muscle mass. This is a perfect example of how the body requires stress to maintain muscle and also to grow it. Astronauts on the International Space Station are required to work out for 2.5 hours a day in order to combat muscle atrophy.
If one stresses their foot with the exact same running shoe, day in and day out, the body is exposed to similar stresses every day. If you run multiple shoe models from multiple shoe brands your foot will be put through different workouts that work the foot in different ways. This will allow certain muscles to do less work on a given day while allowing them to work harder on another day. Scott Douglas states that the researchers from the study concluded that running injuries can be decreased by 39% by rotating a variety of shoes as compared to single shoe wearers.
I personally have about 8 different shoes I rotate through during a 2 week period. I do tend to have favorites, but I make sure to keep on switching it up. Instead of rotating two of the exact same shoes throughout the week, pick up a few pairs of running shoes on your next visit to your LRS (local running store) and rotate several different models during the week. While you’re at it, work on rotating the surfaces you run on every day as well. Switch between concrete, asphalt, dirt, grass, and whatever else you can find. Running surface will have an even greater impact on running stress as compared to varying your shoe choice.
Always in Stride,
Can Rotating Running Shoes Reduce Injury Risk? (runblogger.com)
Study Backs Rotating Shoes to Lower Injury Risk – (runnersworld.com)