“Runners should be instructed to choose a certain type of running shoe over another shoe no more so than a blue shoe over a red shoe,” writes Chris Napier in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

From The Globe and Mail:

A decade ago, an Australian sports-medicine physician named Craig Richards launched a ferocious broadside at the running-shoe industry. Writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, he and two colleagues argued that there was no evidence whatsoever that modern running shoes prevented injuries – and that, as a result, such shoes should be considered “unproven technology with the potential to cause harm.”

That critique went mostly unnoticed at first. But a year later, in 2009, the bestselling book Born to Run ignited a surge of interest in barefoot and “minimalist” running, and a corresponding wave of scorn for conventional running shoes. Richards and his colleagues suddenly looked prescient – the progenitors of a new, evidence-based approach to footwear.

As the years have passed, though, demonstrating the superiority of other types of running shoes has proven to be more difficult than expected. As a new editorial in the same journal now argues, we’re still waiting for evidence about the injury-preventing powers of running shoes – except that the critique now extends to newer approaches such as minimalist shoes, supercushioned maximalist shoes and even the suggestion that you should simply choose a shoe based on comfort.

The editorial, from physical therapists Chris Napier of the University of British Columbia and Richard Willy of the University of Montana, identifies a series of logical fallacies that permeate current debates about running shoes.

The best running shoe, it could be argued, is the one that is most comfortable for you, will get you out the door, and is on sale.