US Pharm. 32(11)77-78. 

Research published in the online journal British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed that expensive running shoes are probably not worth their weighty price tag. A group of Scottish scientists found no differences in either comfort or shock absorption between pairs of running shoes priced at $80 and pairs made by the same companies costing nearly twice as much.

The study involved 43 men, averaging about 29 years of age, who tried on nine pairs of a well-known brand of running shoes. All the men were of average foot size and had no foot or gait abnormalities. The retail prices ranged from $80 to $150 a pair. None of the men knew the cost of the shoes they were using. They were asked to test the sneaker and give the researchers a subjective assessment of each shoe's comfort. The men also ran in the shoes while wearing high-tech sensors that gauged pressures at various points on the foot, including plantar pressure, the force generated by the impact of the sole hitting the ground.

After reviewing the results, the researchers found no significant differences in comfort between the shoes, regardless of the price.

"The perception is that if you pay more, you might end up having something more protective within the shoes, but that's something that we just couldn't find," said Rami Abboud, director of the Institute of Motion Analysis and Research at the University of Dundee. "From what we found, [the difference] seems to be pure advertisement."

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