If you’ve been to a specialty running store, you probably know there are a lot of considerations when choosing a running shoe, from your gait to your arch position and more. However, according to a recent study, you may want to factor in your weight, as well.
Researchers at the University of South Australia’s Sansom Institute for Health Research used 61 trained runners and followed them over the course of 26 weeks.
They found that runners weighing over 85 kilograms (187 pounds) and trained in a lightweight running shoe “were over three times more likely to sustain an injury than when wearing conventional running shoes.” Runners who weighed less than 71 kilograms (156 pounds) benefitted from lightweight shoes and did not see any impacts on their injury risk.
“Minimalist shoes do have an appeal to runners and as they can help you run faster, but heavier runners should think twice about using them because they can increase the risk of injury,” says Professor Jon Buckley, co-researcher and Director of UniSA’s Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA). “Weight produces higher impact forces that increase injury, regardless if this is the result of being a taller and possibly heavier person, or a person carrying a little more weight than average. So it’s not the BMI to be concerned about, it’s the actual weight.”
Knowing your shoe lingo and asking about the heel-to-toe drop and midsole may help you get the proper stability and cushioning for not only your foot type, but also your body type, in order to prevent injury.