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8 décembre 2011

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Débat sur la chaussure, Austin-Texas / Austin-Texas debate on footwear

English follows

Panélistes :

Simon Bartold : podiatre, Consultant pour ASICS International Research.
Force : excellent orateur, habitué de présenter devant une audience de détaillants de chaussures.
Faiblesse : biaisé par sa position.

Blaise Dubois, physiothérapeute
Force : connaît bien l’ensemble de la littérature sur le sujet.
Faiblesse : présente la controverse dans un langage qu’il maîtrise mal (l’anglais) devant une audience de détaillants.

Daniel Crumback, physiothérapeute
Force : clinicien à l’avant garde qui amène toujours à la réflexion… fait le pont pratique entre la science et la réalité des détaillants de chaussures.

NB : L’objectif de ce rapport-ci n’est pas de démarrer une guerre d’égo, mais plutôt de clarifier l’essentiel de ce débat scientifique pour ne pas laisser une fois de plus les auditeurs dans l’ignorance.

Les points sur lesquels tous s’entendent
-       La cause des blessures en course à pied est relative à des facteurs d’entraînement bien avant la chaussure
-       Le corps est adaptable, il est unique et différent pour chaque individu
-       L’importance dans la vente de chaussures est la personnalisation… éviter le « one size fit all »
-       Les détaillants ont un rôle déterminant sur le consommateur par leurs compétences élaborées, non pas seulement en fitting, mais aussi en en tant qu’acteur de première ligne. Ils sont les mieux placés pour  donner des conseils relatifs à la santé, à la course à pied en général, à l’entraînement, à la prévention des blessures, …

Ce que nous avons appris de Simon

-       Simon a encore une fois réussi à faire croire à tous que sa compagnie était un leader de recherche en étant associée à plein d’universités…
-       Sans dire directement que la chaussure traditionnelle classique (nimbus… cumulus…) prévenait les blessures, il semblait convaincu que ces chaussures étaient meilleures pour (?)… des facteurs biomécaniques précis (mais non en lien avec les blessures)
-       Selon lui, c’est trop difficile de faire une étude directement sur les blessures, ce qui justifie l’absence de littérature de leur part sur le sujet. (Note : certains études en cours par chercheur indépendant sont présentement en cours à Boston, Afrique du sud et Québec… à suivre)

Les questions importantes pour Simon… auxquelles il n’a pas répondu

-       Est-ce que la personne qui débute un programme de course en Nimbus a plus ou moins de chance de se blesser que celle courant en Piranha ?
-       À partir de quel âge devrions-nous recommander des chaussures traditionnelles (Big bulky shoe)? Que met-on aux pieds de nos jeunes enfants ?

Résumé du débat

Blaise : « Je connais bien Daniel et nous sommes presque sur la même longueur d’ondes relativement à la chaussure… Le débat était donc plus avec Simon. Nos idées sont dramatiquement opposées. Je pensais qu’il serait un bon débateur grâce à ses connaissances de la littérature… j’ai réalisé que c’était un excellent débateur qui argumente sans grandes évidences scientifiques. »

Simon a franchement gagné le débat. Il connaît bien la recette.

1. Valoriser l’auditoire et faire accepter avec humour le biais commercial important qui unit le conférencier
2. Discréditer les concurrents et ce qu’ils ont exposé
3. Justifier ses points avec une littérature scientifique parfois floue, complexe ou biaisée mais qui semble acceptable
4. Finir avec une phrase magique qui revalorise l’auditoire « it’s not true that one size fit all »

Blaise :  «Simon a été d’un point de vue scientifique très malhonnête. Son discours n’aurait pas tenu 2 minutes devant une audience de scientifiques. Mais comme conférencier, il est très à l’aise et sait bien amener son point. Dommage qu’il ne parle pas français… J »

 

En reprenant chacun des points que Blaise défendait lors du débat public de Montréal quelques mois auparavant, son exposé était construit sur : reprendre une citation de Blaise, mentionner que son« bullshit-o-meter » était dans le rouge et présenter un contre argument.

Blaise : « Je suis bon joueur… son bullshit-o-meter était drôle… je me suis senti bien populaire d’être plus cité que l’ensemble des autres auteurs qu’il a mentionnés»

 
Ses contre-arguments scientifiques, résumé en 7 articles, faisaient référence à des articles parfois non existants, souvent non pertinents et surtout toujours unique (l’exposition d’un seul article montrant son point quand 10 autres non exposés montrent le contraire)

 

Blaise :  « Les 7 articles cités dans son exposé étaient loin de la réalité de la littérature. On peut toujours trouver un article qui dit OUI et un autre qui dit NON. C’est important d’avoir un regard de l’ensemble de ce qui s’écrit. Par exemple, il a mentionné à plusieurs reprises l’étude de Clark-2011 (NB Clark travaille pour ASICS sports Medicine Research Fellow Centre for Health) pour montrer que les chaussures diminuaient la force d’impact… Une étude non existante sur les banques de données et montrant le contraire de 10 autres ! Ou celle de Kinchington cité comme preuve que la bonne sélection des chaussures prévient les blessures et est plus confortable… pour 40 joueurs de rugby… oui-oui, de rugby. Pour moi, c’est vraiment sous-estimer la capacité de réflexion et de discernement de l’audience. Autant il aura marqué des points durant sa conférence, autant il perdra sa crédibilité lorsque la conférence sera analysée. (un vidéo sera prochainement présenté et commenté) »

 
Le plus comique de tout ça est qu’il a fini sa présentation en faisant un superbe pitch publicitaire. Il a présenté la technologie qui va prochainement sortir chez Asics, en mentionnant que ça respectait l’anatomie du pied, les axes de mouvement… bref une autre idée magique qui sera mise sur le marché sans aucune évidence scientifique en faisant croire que c’est la meilleure chaussure au monde et que la recherche et développement en arrière justifient son prix élevé…

Blaise :  « On se revoit en mars pour un débat en Australie… mon anglais ne sera pas meilleur mais l’audience plus variée et MON « bullshit-o-meter » allumé !»

Lee Manuel Gagnon

 


 

English

 

Panellists:

Simon Bartold: podiatrist, ASICS International Research Consultant
Strengths: Excellent speaker, used to present in front of audiences of retailers.
Weakness: Biased by his position (ASICS)

Blaise Dubois, physiotherapist
Strength: Knows well the literature on the subject.
Weakness: Presents controversy in a language that’s not his (English) in front of a retailers audience.

Daniel Crumback, physiotherapist
Strength: Clinician at the avant-garde that always brings people to think…

NB : The objective here with this report wasn’t to start an ego war but to clarify the essence of this scientific debate

 

Points where everyone agrees

-       The cause of injuries running is related to training factors more than to shoes.
-       The body is adaptable and unique
-       The importance in shoe selling is the personalization… avoid the « one size fits all »
-       Retailers have a determinant role on consumers by their elaborate competences not only in fitting but also by being the front line players. They have the main spot to give tips related to health, running in general, training, injuries prevention, …

What we learnt about Simon

-       Simon again succeeded to make everyone believe that the company he works for (ASICS) is a leader in research by being associated to many universities around the world.
-       Without directly saying that traditional shoes prevent from being injured, he seemed convinced that his shoes were better for (?)… precise biomechanics factors (but not related with injuries).
-       According to him, it is too difficult to do a study oriented specifically on injuries, which justifies to them the absence of literature on the subject. (note: some protocols are presently undergoing by independent researchers in Boston, South Africa and Québec… to follow)

 

Important questions for Simon that he did not answered

-       Does the person that starts a running program in a pair of Nimbus (big shoe from ASICS) has more or less chances to get injured than running in a pair of Piranhas (ASICS’s most minimal shoe)?
-       At what age should we recommend a traditional shoe? What should our children wear?

Debate recap

Blaise : “I know Daniel well enough and we are almost at the same page when speaking about running shoes… The debate was so more against Simon. Our ideas are dramatically opposed. I thought he was going to be a good debater relying on his knowledge of literature… I realized that he’s an excellent debater that argues without good look on literature.”

Simon has frankly won the debate. He knows the recipe really well.

1. Valorize the audience and, with humour, make them accept the important commercial bias which the speaker is involved with.
2. Discredit opponents and what they exposed.
3. Justify his points with complex, biased, unclear scientific literature but that seems acceptable
4. Finishing with a magic quote to revalorize the audience like “It’s not true that one size fits all”

Blaise :  “Simon hasn’t been honest on a scientific point of view. His speech would not have held 2 minutes in front of a scientific audience. But as a speaker he is very comfortable and knows how to do to share his point. Too bad he doesn’t speak French!J “
 

By commenting on every points that Blaise defended at the KMag’s debate in Montreal, his presentation was to pick a citation from Blaise, then mention that his “bullshit-o-meter” was in the red zone and to present a counter-argument.

Blaise : “I’m a good player… his bullshit-o-meter was funny… I felt very popular to be cited more than all the other authors that he mentioned.”

 
His scientific counter-arguments were referring to 7 articles sometimes not existing, often non-pertinent, and especially always single (exposing only one article showing his point when 10 others show the opposite)
 

Blaise : “ The 7 articles quoted in his presentation were far from literature’s reality. We can always find an article that says YES and another that says NO. It is important to have a look on all what’s written. For example, he mentioned many times the study of Clark-2011 (note that Clark works for ASICS Sports Medicine Research Fellow Centre for Health) to show that shoes lowered impact force. A study that is non-existing on databases and showing the opposite than 10 others.” Or the one from Kingchinton cited as proof that the god selection of shoe prevents injuries and is more comfortable… for 40 Rugby players… yes… Rugby. To me this is really under-estimating the capacity of reflexion and discernment of the audience. As much as he  scored points during his presentation, as much he will lose his credibility when the conference will be analysed. (a video will be soon presented and commented) »

 
The funniest thing in all this is that he used his presentation (at the end of it) by giving a superb scoop to all the retailers showing a new technology that ASICS will soon promote, mentioning that it was going to represent foot’s anatomy with its axis of movement… another magic idea that will be put on the market without any scientific evidence and making the consumers believe that it is the best shoe in the world and that research and development behind it justify its high price.

Blaise :  “We will meet again in Australia… my English is not going to be better but the audience will be more varied and MY “bullshit-o-meter” will be well turned on. “

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69 Comments Post a comment
  1. Marketa Myatt
    déc 8 2011

    Ever considered that despite your rigorous review of the literature the research published is only what the companies want published? A very good inside source from several large companies conducting research on barefoot running has provided excellent insight into what is and is NOT published in order to promote the barefoot running change….

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    • déc 8 2011

      Hi Marketa,
      Do you really think that the companies are the reason of this new trend? I think more that they resisted… up to 2 years ago… where the demand for simpler shoes was too big. Now, some companies just follow the trend and others don’t want to. Note too, that little companies that promote only minimalism don’t have an elaborate R&D department and budget like the big companies… selling 90% of big bulky shoes.
      Blaise

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    • déc 8 2011

      I’ll add that the study by Ryan et al. from last year showed no benefit of assigning shoes based on pronation control category relative to just giving all individuals a stability shoe was funded by Nike. So, the biggest shoe manufacturer out there supported a study suggesting that either shoes are not doing what they are supposed to in any consistent way or that the entire shoe fitting process as typically done nowadays is essentially worthless.

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    • Dave Brewster
      déc 8 2011

      This may be so, but this is where one needs to know the journals that these articles are being published. If the journals are truly scientific and evidence-based, these articles should be peer-reviewed by non-partisans employing objective methods of evaluating the article submissions – that is how reputable journals become reputable.

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  2. déc 8 2011

    If I may respond to Marketas’ comment above.

    Marketa, if I have read your comment correctly I believe you are under the impression that Blaise and ‘The Running Clinic’ are referring to scientific evidence produced by corporate run brands. This is not the case. The scientific studies referred to, that do not indicate injury reduction from run shoe technology, are independent from run companies.

    The argument at this point is not what studies show barefoot running to reduce injuries. More why did we create current run shoe technology in the first place if it does not benefit the runners outcome (increased performance and decrease in injuries). Especially since that is what we are sold and are paying top dollar for.

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  3. déc 8 2011

    Hi Blaise,
    Thank you once again for pointing out that shoe salesmen like Simon are in the business of selling shoes (period) and they’ll use whatever talking tactics they can to that end… regardless of the truth.
    Keep up the good work!
    Danny

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  4. déc 8 2011

    Blaise knows more about the science behind footwear than anyone i spoken with. And I, for one, think that humans have been walking the earth for millions of years mostly barefoot, so why now do we all of a sudden need these huge, thick blocks of foam rubber on our feet in order to run or we will be injured. Thin, light shoes that flex with the foot make much more sense to me, because in that type of shoe we will be able to feel the ground and use the body’s impact moderating system to run more carefully and more gently, enabling us to run with less chance of injury.

    Nioce debate, Blaise.

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  5. That must have been incredibly frustrating, debating against someone without an honest belief in what or what not their products do for people. Just remember in Australia to find cover when your bull-shit-o-meter reads « about to hit the fan! »

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  6. déc 8 2011

    Blaise, I’m looking forward to finally meeting you face to face in Vancouver in January. Not sure how much « debating » there will be at our presentation as I think we’re close to being on the same page. But there are some differences in the details I suspect.

    For any runners in the Vancouver area on Jan. 26 be sure to check out Blaise and an excellent panel debate the role of traditional shoes vs. minimalist shoes. Details below:

    http://www.corerunning.com/running_symposium.html

    cheers,
    Curb

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  7. déc 8 2011

    To Paul:

    I actually think Simon has an honest BELIEF in his shoes. But that’s the problem. We need to follow a science/evidence-based approach not a belief based approach.

    If you start out with a belief you’ll only look at evidence that supports that position. If you start with an open mind then you call take a more objective look at the research and be willing to go where the evidence leads you.

    It sounds like Simon has a good ability to disguise his beliefs in pseudo-science, which ironically he claims is what his opponents do. I know we all have biases (we are humans after all) but we should be upfront about them and be as open-minded as we can.

    Right now, neither the traditional shoe nor minimalist shoe approach can claim that they have overwhelming scientific evidence their way is the best way. Hopefully some of the research being done now will shed more light on the subject. (BTW…my bias tends to the minimalist side).

    best,
    Curb

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  8. Gerry Moore
    déc 8 2011

    I am a long time exclusive user of ASICS shoes and former 10K racer. I know how to train and I was rarely injured. As time past and I got older however I was increasingly injured to the point that I finally had to stop running. This devastated me. My doctor at the time, himself a coach, painted a bleak picture of my future.

    A few years later by accident I heard a crazy man talking about a similar experience and how he had returned to running by giving up on the shoes. To make a long story short I slowly rebuilt my running using minimalist shoes. Today I run long and technical cross country mountain trails exclusively in minimalist shoes. I’m starting my fourth year injury free.

    In hindsight I believe that I got weaker over the years by wearing running shoes. I also noticed that my shoes had become more complex over time compared to when I first started running in flats. Where you ascribe 80% of injury to over training, my experience is that the effect of shoes is more to blame regardless of training. Look at race results by age group. The number of runners over 50 drops off precipitously, and not because they are now training more. They simply break down.

    My point is had I listened to health professionals or the running industry I would not be running today. Together they almost cost me everything. I would advise them not to plan on future revenue by continuing to defend their ignorance.

    I am very grateful that you take on this group and I encourage you to continue in spite of the bluster.

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  9. Olivier CENSIER
    déc 8 2011

    Hello Blaise,
    ton anglais n’est peut être pas le meilleur, mais en tous cas c’est un plaisir d’avoir un site de référence sur le barefoot / minimalisme en Français, grâce à nos cousins d’outre Atlantique.
    Un seul commentaire sur le débat minimalisme vs chaussures à coussinets: je cours depuis 10 ans, marathonien, mais sans en avoir le physique (80 kg dont bien 10 de trop).
    J’en était venu à courir en Air Max Moto et à les changer tous les 300 km sans quoi le genoux ne tenait plus; j’ai même failli me faire opérer du ménisque.
    Depuis 1 an je suis passé en Five Finger et je ne les change qu’après 800 km, et encore c’est parce que l’empeigne se déchire.
    2000 km cette année: 0 blessure, 0 douleur!

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  10. déc 8 2011

    Pour ceux qui désirent en connaitre un peu plus sur le « détecteur de conneries de Simon Bartold », voici son site web et un texte sur les enfants et la chaussure. Attention votre propre ‘détecteur’ pourrait exploser!

    Here’s an article about « Simon Bartold’s bullshit-detector » where he says kids need a midsole and an elevated heel: http://www.sneakerfreaker.com/feature/ASICS-running-guru-simon-bartold/6/ (be careful, your own bullshit-detector can explode when you will read that!)

    « So the thing about kids these days is that hopefully they’re pretty active, which means they will need some sort of meaningful midsole and elevated heel. Let’s go back to the Kalahari Desert. If you habitually don’t wear a shoe with any sort of midsole, you will adapt to that. But then you’ve got to think about what happens if that kid then wants to go and play tennis or basketball? They are certainly more likely to get injured. Kids have things called growth plates which is a plate of cartilage sandwiched between bone and it disappears by the time you’re about 17. The growth plates are normally exactly where tendons insert so they tug on the growth plate. If you get impact on that, especially around the heel, then you are very likely to develop an injury.This is something we’ve looked at at length, especially in football boots which is why we’ve had a raise in our boots now for a long time. So yeah, I think walking around in completely flat shoes is less than ideal. »

    En gros, il recommande des semelles avec surélévation du talon chez les enfants pour prévenir les blessures… sans support scientifique ni logique clinique (notez que les plaques de croissance sont aussi tolérantes au stress que le reste du corps si le stress appliqué est progressif. En même temps ASICS fait la promo des chaussures grosses et absorbantes chez cette populations en développement… enfants et adolescents!!!

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    • Matt Keith
      déc 13 2011

      Does Simon have any peer reviewed scientific study to back up this comment about elevated heel in kid’s shoes? How are my 8 year old little girl’s feet supposed to develop normally with this interference with normal sensory input from the foot and the subsequent shortening of her achilles. I want her feet and the entire lower quadrant to develop normally and refuse to put her an elevated heel with too much midsole. In order to strengthen the ligaments, tendons and also the bone don’t we need to stress the tissue and not try to protect it?

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      • déc 13 2011

        100% agree,
        Maybe Simon will help us to understand why kids need heel and cushioning…

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      • déc 13 2011

        You only have to look at what my feet went trough when transitioning from Asics Cumulus to Barefoot-Minimalist Running to see it went from an athrophied state to a way more healthier one.

        http://www.adventureinprogress.com/lucs-barefoot-transformation

        I can tell you that Blaise’s children and the children of the store owner of Quebec city which has the biggest minimalist shoe selling numbers are looking way more healthier than my sister’s children (actually now young adults).

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  11. déc 8 2011

    Évidemment, j’ai bien hâte de voir le vidéo, j’ai hâte d’entendre M. Bartold.
    1. Valorize the audience and, with humour, make them accept the important commercial bias which the speaker is involved with.
    2. Discredit opponents and what they exposed.
    3. Justify his points with complex, biased, unclear scientific literature but that seems acceptable
    4. Finishing with a magic quote to revalorize the audience like “It’s not true that one size fits all”
    Cela me rappel le livre de Schopenhaueur: l’art d’avoir toujours raison. Pour ceux qui ne l’ont pas lu, extrêmement intéressant :
    http://fr.wikisource.org/wiki/L%E2%80%99Art_d%E2%80%99avoir_toujours_raison
    Par contre, il ne faut pas être mauvais jeu: je m’en vais tout de suite lire l’article de Clark, je viens de lire l’abstract et bon… c’est pas la mer à boire et ça ne me convainc pas de mettre des grosse chaussures. mais quand même, l’article est publié dans une revue assez connue. Et par rapport au fais que l’étude a été faites dans l’académie Asics, il faudrait alors jouer franc jeu et parler des études sponsorisée par Vibram, si on veut vraiment être rigoureux d’un point de vue scientifique. Ma conclusion: j’ai hâte de voir le débat!

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    • déc 9 2011

      Il semblerait que je me sois trompé d’étude et que l’étude en question est finalement… introuvable! Donc effectivement, difficile de se défendre avec une étude… qui n’est pas disponible…

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    • Luc Fortin
      déc 11 2011

      Salut Daniel,

      Un bon petit livre pour se défendre contre ce genres de personnes est « Petit cours d’autodéfense intellectuelle » de Normand Baillargeon.

      http://www.luxediteur.com/autodefenseintellectuelle

      En passant cet auteur est excellent pour faire voir certaines choses dans une toute autre perspective.

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  12. Simon Bartold
    déc 9 2011

    Hello Blaise, and thanks for you very swift posting on our little presentation on Wednesday.
    I am chuffed that you agree I won the debate. You rightly pointed out that ego should not get in the way of this conversation, one I enjoyed enormously by the way, and that you will abide by that thought. I will respond to your review, as a right of reply I guess in the grand tradition of all debates, and thank you once more for your input, your knowledge and your participation. After this, I will not blog anymore, as I find it very difficult to express views accurately electronically, and far prefer face to face combat as it were! If you felt it was appropriate to include me in your program when you come down under, please let me know, I would be more than happy, and this time you can go second!
    So, that said, there are a few issues I would like to comment on (actually.. many), and it starts right at the start, when you call me biased.
    Blaise, as your bloggers will see when they view the video, I was totally upfront when I disclosed in full my involvement with ASICS, as you were in your statement that you had no financial interest in the debate at all… except….. that smacks of insincerity. Blaise, you charge $650 per person for your workshops where you get to tell people all about your views and try to convince them that your way is the only way. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem at all with that, but I do have a problem with you saying I had a “biased position” in the the 3rd line of your 1st paragraph! Let’s just be honest mate, put it on the line.. everybody is selling something, especially you! I am surprised that you listed your only weakness as your lack of English.. you will apparently have no problem charging $650 to lecture in English in Melbourne and Newcastle next year!
    Anyway.. onto the task at hand, I am not interested in point scoring, just trying to get some answers.
    Now you made the comment “Simon has once again managed to make everyone believe that his company was a leader in research is associated with a lot of universities”. Well this is not something I need to make anyone believe, it is an established fact. And, unlike almost any other company, ASICS not only conducts the research, but publishes for all to read, in peer reviewed Journals. As you know, on the night, I made a gift to you of 3 of these papers, all of which I co-authored, and all published within the last 3 years. One of these papers was awarded “Best Overall Scientific Paper” at the Australasian Conference of Science and Medicine in Sport, and was chosen to be presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference. ASICS research Blaise, awarded by a group of peers. You claim this science has nothing to do with shoe development, but why would we do the research were it not to build better shoes to benefit athletes? I can explain the direct link between the papers I gave you and shoe design should you wish.
    You went on to claim I had not answered your questions. Well I believe the video may answer that allegation, but, just for the record, you asked would a person be more likely to be injured in a Nimbus or Piranha? What I SAID, in direct response to this question, was that it would depend upon the athlete. I went on to explain that there is no one rule that can be applied to each athlete, any shoe, anyone going barefoot. I further said it depends on weight, sex, biomechanics, experience, speed etc. If you need this question to be answered in more detail, just let me know and I shall elaborate, but of course it was answered!
    You further state that you asked me a question about children, and at what stage should they wear “big bulky shoes” ( a descriptor oft repeated in your presentation despite the view from the audience that this was not appropriate). I have reviewed the tape, and this question was never asked. For the record, I do not know the answer, and the reason for that is that we do not understand normal childhood gait very well at all. And that is the reason that ASICS, as a research based company, has commenced a 3 year study into gait patterns of children from the ages of 8-14 with multi award winning researcher Dr. Adam Bryant. I am honoured to be a part of the research team for this study. Stand by for some cutting edge research.
    You went on to make slurs about my presentation not having scientific evidence and claimed I was “very scientifically dishonest”, and inferred that I would not last 2 minutes in front of a scientific meeting. Blaise, I have presented at scientific meetings in 32 countries over a 30 year career. I have won the Australasian Conference of Science and Sport in Medicine “Best Paper’ award not 1 but 3 times, something no other scientist has ever achieved. I have been awarded the William O Schuster Award for Excellence in Research in 2009, an award that has never been presented to any researcher outside North America. I have written chapters for 3 books, one in German, and my own 800 page book, The Foot and Leg in Sport is being released in early 2012. I have been published in multiple peer reviewed scientific journals. In short, I am very, very comfortable presenting to a scientific audience!
    You went on to engage in a detailed analysis of “the 7 articles I cited”.
    Well first of all Blaise, it is not about who can cite the greatest number of references. I am sure you would win that (although it might be a close race). It is about whether the debater is accurate and honest, or simply cherry picks “facts” to suit their own argument as you, without any doubt did. Let’s roll the tape.
    You made the statement, which you posted on this website that “the technologies presented annually by running shoe companies have no solid evidence”.
    I cited Bennell, Wrigley and Hinman as a part of their ongoing 5 year study (which has been funded by the key scientific arm of the Australian Government in link with a key industry partner.. yep, you guessed it.. ASICS.. no less. The main study published to date, with many more to follow is Bennell K, et al, Lateral wedge insoles for medial knee osteoarthritis:
    12 month randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal 2011.
    They have now studied more than 1500 individuals and have found a specific and direct main effect of footwear’s ability to influence pain and disability around the knee

    You, in support of your claim that “big bulky shoes” ( again a term the audience specifically asked you to stop using because it was not accurate or appropriate) cited a paper by Cheung et al.. This is the exact reference.. Effects of motion control footwear on running: A
    systematic review Roy T. H. Cheung , Michael Y. M. Wong & Gabriel Y. F. Ng
    Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong Journal of Sports Sciences 13 Jul 2011 .. you claim that Roy’s paper found that footwear made no difference at all to motion control. This was not only scientifically dishonest Blaise, but clearly wrong, and a great example of manipulating the paper to suit your own needs. I have cut and pasted the conclusion directly from the paper. It reads:
    “This systemic review identified 14 relatively better quality clinical trials from the literature and we found that motion control footwear is effective in reducing the amount of foot pronation and the vertical impact peak during running.”

    I have underlined the conclusion and highlighted the case you missed it.

    On we go.. In relation to the Kinchington study. You obviously have not read this one, and because you have your conclusion so wrong, you should. Here is the reference: Kinchington, M. et al Effects of footwear on comfort and injury in professional rugby league, August 2011, Journal of Sports Sciences.

    I was so surprised by your response and claim the video will cause me to ‘lose all credibility’on the basis I cited this paper. Really? I am not sure if you are aware, but rugby is a running sport, and, in common with many sports, the actual game is a tiny part of the professional athletes participation. Training is far more important. I was so surprised by your assertions, based on your lack of knowledge of this particular paper, that I took the time to ring Michael Kinchington. I know him very well, in fact we worked together at the Sydney Olympic Games. He confirmed that my understanding of the results and conclusions of his paper were perfect. And that was, that Michael looked at the training regime, not game regime, of elite athletes, and specifically prescribed footwear on an individual basis to each athlete, depending upon their need.. as it should always be.. no “ one size fits all’ as you frequently assert. He was prescribing running shoes blaise.. that is what they partly train in..so they can go running..
    He concluded: “A tailored footwear programme was associated with better lower-limb comfort and a reduced incidence of injury in a cohort of professional NRL players” AND, he further confirmed with me via personal communication, that his conclusion was as equally applicable to a group of pure runners as it was to a group of rugby players who ran as a part of their training regime.
    Now remember I used this study to identify the research that disproved your written assertion that ‘the absorption and antipronation systems in shoes do not lower injury and do not improve comfort”. Sorry, they do! (and by the way, “absorption” is not a word we use in the world of biomechanics. A force cannot be “absorbed”, it can only put somewhere else. Attenuation is the correct word”) . If you need me to put you in touch with Michael, he has indicated he would be happy to run you through the research. Please, let me know.
    You go on to criticize me for citing Clark, and complain you cannot find the references. As I told you in question time, the work is as yet unpublished, but it will be (and please Blaise, remember many of the citations you quoted were from unpublished data. I accept this as valid as should you).
    You go on to slur Ross Clark by claiming he works for ASICS, as if that would be such a bad thing. Once again, you have your facts completely wrong. Ross works as a Post Doctoral Research Fellow for the Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Melbourne. ASICS provides the University with a scholarship, (as it does with several universities, because ASICS is committed to the University Community and is a research based company) which they use to pay the wage of a brilliant young researcher. ASICS has no control, no say over the work Ross engages in. Ross categorically does NOT, as you assert, work for ASICS. He is an employee of the University of Melbourne, currently ranked 70th of the world’s top 100 research institutions.

    You failed to comment on your assertion that “shoes weaken foot tissues” and even more outrageously “many studies on the subject (that athletic shoes) bring deformities like hallux valgus”. I was able to easily prove that both these statements are not supported by the scientific literature, and cited Perera et al, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2011; 93. Once again, there has NEVER been a single study anywhere in the scientific literature showing that athletic shoes either weaken the foot or cause hallux valgus. I presented a table of the known risk factors. If you need this, please let me know and I shall be happy to forward it to you.

    You also failed to provide me with any evidence to support your (potentially dangerous) claim “to recommend minimalist (which you defined during the course of the debate as zero drop with the least possible structure) to the beginner, to the overweight. I will wait with anticipation for you to provide me with the evidence supporting this claim.

    You then were unable to sustain any viable argument to your claim, again, in writing, on this website, “are you a heel striker? The cause is the shoe”. It is beyond simple to establish this is NOT the case.

    I finished my presentation by sketching out how we go about building new product. This blog does not allow enough space for me to demonstrate to you how much research goes into this, and illustrate that no ASICS shoe gets to market unless we have hard scientific data supporting it.. but nevermind, if you really would like to learn, I would be more than happy to sit down with you over a beer and discuss it. Maybe in Melbourne?

    Finally Blaise, repeatedly during the debate and question time you asked me to tell you what the research proves shoes do, and repeatedly I told you that shoes have been shown, beyond any question of scientific doubt to:
    Alter Joint moments
    Alter Accelerations (A true measure of impact, and far more important than GRF)
    Reduce Pressure
    Protect from the environment
    Reduce torques
    Influence injury patterns

    There it is again for you!

    My last comment is that I have no problem with the concept of minimalism, no problem whatsoever with the concept of barefoot. I have gone on record many, many times saying I believe both barefoot and less structured shoes should be introduced into a balanced training program. If I were in back in clinical practice,(where I was for 24 years treating only athletes) I would certainly be including this as a part of my treatment regime

    What I do have an issue with is dogma, and a one size fits every athlete view, and that minimalist footwear is the go to for every single athlete. It is not, and the science does not support it.

    Best regards and see you in Australia.

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    • Simon Bartold
      déc 9 2011

      it is a pity that your language translater is making mistakes in the direct translation.. let me point out that you agreed I won the debate!
      i am happy to post my original response, in english, as a word document link if that is possible

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      • Simon Bartold
        déc 9 2011

        ok.. still doing it.. let me try to do this a different way.. this is quite amusing.. let me point out that I agreed you one the debate!

        Répondre
    • déc 10 2011

      Simon,

      After reading your comments, and this morning reading the Kinchington paper in its entirety, I find it very difficult to take what you write here seriously. They give no details on how they assigned shoes to each player, they compared a tailored footwear intervention on a « more financially viable and successful club » to a non-intervention team which was apparently inferior, and they were hardly looking at running shoes – in the results they report very clearly that the players wore turf shoes or boots 95% of the time. « Other athletic shoes » were worn only 5% of the time. Conclude what you will from this…

      Pete

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      • déc 10 2011

        All his presentation was about non relevant articles to proof is point. At the beginning of his conference, he gave me 3 good and recent articles, in peer reviewed journals, all of which he was co-authored, … and said at the same time that ASICS was a leader in research and that there is proof that the traditional shoes work. See by yourself the 3 titles… NOTHING to do with shoes except weird correlation…
        1. Estrogen-induced effects on the neuro-mechanics of hopping in human
        2. Effects on estrogen on the mechanical behaviour of the human Achilles tendon in vivo
        3. Tibial accelaration variability during consecutive gait cycles is influanced by the menstrual cycle.
        And he was serious! … and most of people in the audience find him very credible… he is a very good speaker… will comment his answer tomorrow.

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        • Simon Bartold
          déc 11 2011

          Blaise.. do you read the paper, or just the title?? in response to your original posting, I am more than happy to explain how the reseacrh has been applied to footwear. However, since this blog translates to frenchenglish hybrid, I am only prepared to do that by email, because the explaination gets lost in the translation. This is the second time I have made this offer. If you wish to take it up.. let me know.
          you have yet to explain to me how you drew your conclusions from the Cheung study. That truly was unbelievable!

          Répondre
          • déc 11 2011

            Hi Simon,
            Quickly, my opinion is that actual motion control shoe with dual density DOES NOT decrease the pronation of the person… except the extra pronation caused by the softness of the shoes.

            The conclusion of the systematic review of Dr Cheung is that motion control footwear was effective in reducing the amount of foot pronation and the peak vertical impact during landing… but not the proximal segment (tibia).

            I don’t agree with his conclusion for different reasons that I explain more in details in a personal email (that I send to you, Dr Cheung and Dr Beno Nigg for comments.)
            #1 All included studies pooled was low quality (no choice… just that kind of studies exist)
            #2 The positive conclusions of the study are pulled by one study (Perry-Lafortune-1995) that are not so good (n: 10, just 2D analyses)… and all the others was showing less effect
            #3 The shoes used by (Perry-Lafortune-1995) was not what we have since many years (special shoes with 10 degree varus wedge in the midsole)
            #4 One of the best study on that topic was not included (Stacoff and Nigg 2000), with intra-cortical pins… showing no real difference on biomechanics with and without a motion control device.

            Waiting your comment
            Blaise

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      • Simon Bartold
        déc 11 2011

        Actually turf shoes were worn for 56.8% of the time, and turf shoes are built on running shoe lasts and similar uppers these days (as are many football boots), so, with the exception of the outsole, they are virtually identical. As I said Pete, I rang Michael and spoke to him. He stated to me very clearly that based on this study, he felt that the conclusion could be applied to running footwear. I would be happy to put you in touch with him if you are having trouble taking me seriously. Finally, you can read in the conclusion of the paper this comment « The environment for testing within two professional
        football organizations was sport-specific, but we
        believe our results apply to other sports. » When I asked him the direct question, can this be applied to running his short answer was « absolutely ». I am unsure why you are having trouble taking me seriously, I am simply reporting on the research, and in response to Blaise’s statement that shoes.. note he did not specify running shoes.. do not lower injury and do not improve comfort.. according to Kinchington et al.. they do.. his conclusion, not mine.
        What did you think about the conclusion Blaise drew in relation to the Cheung study.. that the study proved that antipronation systems in shoes do not have any effect. Do you take that seriously.. when the conclusion clearly states.. and this straight from the paper « results revealed that motion control footwear was effective in reducing the amount of foot pronation and the peak vertical impact during running’.
        Do you take that seriously Pete, or are you only interested in one side of the discussion?
        If you would like to speak with Michael, please let me know.

        Répondre
        • déc 11 2011

          Mr Bartold,

          Firstly it’s funny to see that you did not restrain further posting on the internet as you wrote:

          « [...]I will respond to your review, as a right of reply I guess in the grand tradition of all debates, and thank you once more for your input, your knowledge and your participation. After this, I ***will not blog anymore*** [...] »

          Now I can see how funny you are.

          Would you agree that Asics has more to sell or maybe lose than Blaise? Isn’t it funny? 8;-)

          Ironically one of the few minimalist shoes I was racing with was Asics Piranha SP. Isn’t it funny? 8;-)

          Even funnier is that amongst my running friends I am the heaviest one (let’s say more builted for playing rugby than running 10 km races) and the one who seems magically blessed and avoiding ending up injured while at the same time being the only one who managed to barefoot a half marathon race. I’ll let you guess which kind of shoes my injured running friends were using. 8;-)

          I have to be honest and wrote that I did my first maarthon in Cumulus and after more than 12 months of trainaing for my first one, the state the shoes were in was pretty impressive (only the upper was staring to give holes). I had some issues (the biggest being ITBS) while transitioning to Hill Training or to a phase with speedier training sessions.From what I recall, it was harder to train in those Cumulus than it is now let’s say in Mizuno Wave Universe (to add a bit fun let’s just say we all know that Mizuno joined the Band Wagon of minimalists shoes).

          Enough fun for now!

          Regards,

          Barefoot Luc

          P.S. If you really want to have fun try debating with our guru e.g. Barefot Ken Bob Saxton 8;-P

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        • déc 11 2011

          This is rather amusing. So turf shoes, even if on the same last, and rugby boots, both of which are worn during rugby specific training and probably on a grass or turf field, are supposed to tell us something about distance running and running shoes? And the paper tells us very little about what they did in the tailoring process except maybe that comfort was important and the intervention group was suggested to get new shoes when their shoes wore out. There is so little information provided that even if these results were translatable to distance running, I wouldn’t even know how to apply them.

          Simon, I read the paper, and what the author « thinks » is not published or evaluated in the peer review process. That this could be applicable to other sports and situations is a hypothesis that needs to be tested. This paper tells us virtually nothing about running shoes or distance running injuries.

          As for the Cheung paper, I do not have that one, but will try and grab the PDF.

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        • déc 11 2011

          And the biggest problem with the Kinchington study is a statistical one – it’s a perfect example of pseudoreplication. One treatment applied to a single group and compared to a single control. Team A vs. Team B, one gets the treatment, the other does not. Thus, n=1 – we have no way to estimate the variability of the treatment effect.

          Read example #3 on this website – same study design, just a different question,
          http://www.ma.utexas.edu/users/mks/statmistakes/pseudorep.html

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        • déc 12 2011

          Read the Cheung study this morning. The three main conclusions are:

          1. Motion control footwear is effective in reducing the amount of « foot » pronation.

          2. Insufficient evidence that motion control footwear control movement of the proximal segments.

          3. Motion control footwear reduce the vertical impact peak.

          I obviously have not seen the debate so I don’t know in what context Blaise referenced this study, but if it was to say that motion control shoes don’t control motion of the foot then this study does not support that point. However, I have heard Blaise speak of this study in lectures and I know that he has issues with it as he outlined in another response.

          For me, the key phrase is controlling « pronation of the foot » – I don’t think their results say anything about this. As Nigg and Stacoff have shown, though movement of the shoe might change as you add control devices, the foot can still pronate just as much inside the shoe (e.g., in their bone pin study). Thus, I wonder if the conclusion of Cheung’s paper is better that motion control shoes are better at controlling excessive pronation caused by the cushioning of shoes.

          Second, if motion control has no bearing on movement of proximal joints, then there is little likelihood that these shoes would have benefit for issues at the knee, which is the most commonly injured site in runners. Controlling internal tibial rotation resulting from excessive pronation seems to have been one of the major driving factors in the development of motion control footwear, has it not? I do believe that excessive pronation can sometimes cause problems – for example, I got a case of mild posterior tibial tendonitis from running in a pair of shoes that caused me to pronate excessively – I can tell because I believe there is a design flaw in this shoe and can feel my ankles bending inward even standing in them – the sole is thicker on the lateral side for some reason. Stopped wearing this shoe and the pain resolved. So, my only experience with post tib tendonitis seems to have been caused by a shoe.

          Third, you referenced Martyn Shorten’s recent paper on another blog. If his work is correct, do you believe Cheung’s conclusion about impact peak? As we both know, impact peaks have not even reliably been linked with injury, whereas loading rates have in some cases. The Cheung paper did not look at loading rates.

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          • Simon Bartold
            déc 12 2011

            unsure why you choose to defend Blaise so completely .. it is strange. In the context of the debate I had with Bliase, and therefor the ONLY knowledge I could have of his view, he said, verbatim,
            « absorption and antipronation systems in shoes do not lower injury and do not improve comfort ».
            he did not elaborate in any way on this, did not explain any views on the Cheung paper.. just cited it to support this claim, a conclusion the paper clearly does not support. If Blaise knows better, as he asserts, then so be it, but he offered no explanation during our debate, and that was all I had to argue against.
            in relation to your comments on the Kinchington paper. I am disapointed, I thought maybe you were a balanced scientist. You and I both know that any paper, of any quality can have holes poked in it by anyone. You have chosen to do this, exactly as I have with some of Blaises’ cited papers.. strange, but then you do seem to be a huge fan of his.
            you and I both know that a « personal communication » is a perfectly legitimate citation, and is used by authors and lecturers all over the world.
            Sorry you found my comments so amusing, but having spoken with Michael, it is clear that the cohort he studied were running.. as a part of their training, as elite rugby and other football palyers do. You can cherry pick all you like, but the facts remain.
            During his presentation, Bliase attacked health professionals, running shoe companies, retail and me.. and held himself, as he still is doing .. to a higher standard, claiming altruism for his 650 course.. now that really is amusing.

            Répondre
            • déc 12 2011

              Mr Bartold,

              I think Blaise would easily say that there is no studies that prove either side wrong or right.

              Do you think it would be easy to have a statistically meaningfull sample of minimalist or barefoot runners? At first when I heard Ken Bob Saxton was saying we ought start from scratch by going full monty e.g. Barefoot 100% of the time I was thinking that he was using too strong words again. Severall years later after seeing what too many many minimalist runners went through I now think he is right. Doing that for me even if I was a slow recreational runner (10 km Race slightly under 55:00) meant I have to make lotta sacrifices and forget about my times for almost a year. Without finding a statiscally meaning sample of runners willing to commit to do that I wish you good luck with your studies because I think they’ll be biased if you want to have a barefoot or minmalist runners group.

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            • déc 12 2011

              Mr Bartold,

              Regarding Rugby players I have a lithe story. My University have only one team of Rugby actually it is a women team. Sometimes my running club is training at the same time than the Rugby Team. Obviously we are thraining on the Track while they are on the Football Field. This year 3 persons related to 3 folks I know joined the team. Actually one of them is the girlfriend of a coworker from my IT team. My coworker knowing that I am a runner told me that one of the player has an awfull Running Form. No wonder the first time I saw her running I knew right away that was her.

              All this to say that decent running form might be pretty low on the priority list of a Rugby Team. It would be a different priority for lets say a 3 000 meters runner of the Track and Field Team.

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            • déc 12 2011

              « During his presentation, Bliase attacked health professionals, running shoe companies, retail and me.. and held himself, as he still is doing .. to a higher standard, claiming altruism for his 650 course.. now that really is amusing. »

              Another thing that I think is pretty funny is the fact tha Asics is selling way more Racing Flats models in Japan than here in North America. Do not try to bullshit me on that because I have a cousin living in Japan. If I go in Japan to see my cousin let tell you that I’ll take lotta pictures to prove that.

              Darn why would Asics not be willing try to make at least a good share of those models availabole on North America at leats on a order basis? When I heard a store owner that prevoiously told me he would talk to one of Asics designer told me that thing about women shoes that would adjust with hormones cycles I have to say I have trhown the tomwell regarding Asics. And let me tell me I wished hard that Piranhas SP would be my racing shoes. I am still over 200 lbs I was able tu run my last Marathon in Mizuno Wave Universe. And for your information our city (where Blaise and I live) has the highest seeling numbers of Racing Flats in Canada even if Quebec city is way smaller than Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal. I do not want you to stop seeling more built shoes. Just hope that Asics like other Big Shoes Manufacturers would be willing to make at least more than a model of Minimalist Shoe Model availble to Asics wannabes (which I was when I starder running by the way).

              That is really funny. 8;-)

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            • déc 12 2011

              « absorption and antipronation systems in shoes do not lower injury and do not improve comfort »

              The Cheung paper says nothing about injuries or comfort.

              The Kichington paper talked about comfort, but the study design renders the information of little value even aside from the fact that it was looking at rugby players. Look up pseudoreplication Simon, stats 101, it’s a huge problem. And if you feel that personal communications are of equal weight to peer reviewed literature then I find that all the more amusing.

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            • déc 12 2011

              And by the way, I believe both Blaise and I were fairly active soccer/football players in our day, and I can assure you that at least for soccer the running we did was a heck of a lot different than what a distance runner does.

              Répondre
            • déc 13 2011

              Simon,
              You are ill-intentioned. Just to precise, I didn’t attacked health professionals, retailers and even you! But I said that prescription and promotion of the moderne big bulky shoes are done by many people by ignorance, biased informations or financial interest (like for running shoe companies)!

              So again stop doing politics and answer questions about science and shoes. That’s the objective of this blog. I want to hear you about children and my answer about the Cheung study. My lecture in Austin was a 50-minute lecture to explain 250 articles in front of retailers. So what I did, that you tried to demolish, is a comprehensive explanation of what the literature tells us… in 50 minutes. Probably better than your 7 scientific articles combined to a sales pitch :)

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    • déc 11 2011

      « You failed to comment on your assertion that “shoes weaken foot tissues” and even more outrageously “many studies on the subject (that athletic shoes) bring deformities like hallux valgus”. I was able to easily prove that both these statements are not supported by the scientific literature, and cited Perera et al, Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 2011; 93. Once again, there has NEVER been a single study anywhere in the scientific literature showing that athletic shoes either weaken the foot or cause hallux valgus. I presented a table of the known risk factors. If you need this, please let me know and I shall be happy to forward it to you. »

      No science involved though here is a pic of my foot before (Cumulus) and after transition (after completing my 1st barefoot Half Marathon)

      http://www.adventureinprogress.com/lucs-barefoot-transformation

      Have fun! 8;-)

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    • déc 11 2011

      Hi Simon,

      I will be answer in brief in this e-mail and keep the scientific arguments (that would take here a lot of pages) for the analysis of the video in which I will mention the points that I don’t agree (and why) and those that I agree with (there’s a few of them). I think that it will be strongly educative for the clinicians and retailers who are currently in a total confusion.

      Yes I did say that you won the debate… of persuasion of the audience… not the scientific one. I would like also to congradulate you for your impressive professional record and your quality scientific contacts. But in a scientific debate, it is the evidence by science that manners… not one piece of evidence but all the evidence together.

      My perception of your position stays the same and I believe that the commercial bias which you’re associated with is too important to let you defend a position other than the one adjudicated by ASICS. I don’t believe neither that this is comparable to my bias to give continuing education to health professionals on evidence based prevention of running injuries. ( the shoes part of the course represents 16 % of the 3-day course)… and just to be clear : it’s not an english course but a course about running injuries. 650$ is the best investment that you should do to improve your clinical competences and I invite you to come and sit for 3 days to understand not just stuff about shoes but also the entire subjects related to the prevention of injuries for RUNNERS.

      Congradulation for your recent 3 publications, and for the award your group has received. These publications are very interesting and definitely scientifically valid since published in peer review papers. But can you explain to me the link with footwear? Articles like these are good for what they demonstrate but not to justify ASICS technologies on their shoes. To answer to your question below, yes I red it… very interesting! … BUT no link with shoes. I remember what you’ve said (which I fully agreed with) about correlation vs. causation… presenting these studies as justification for big bulky shoes is a way to make non-scientists believe that technologies in shoes is good to prevent injuries!

      About children, is the current study you talk about made to justify the advertising campaign of high heel and thick cushioning shoes for kids that ASICS promotes?… and that you defend in your web site « Simon Bartold’s bullshit-detector »? Shouldn’t we wait for real independant scientific justifications before putting on the market some interventions that will probably influence child development? You said that ASICS shoes only get on the market with hard scientific datas supporting it… not this time?

      Also, it will be a pleasure to comment the studies of Bennell and Cheung (just wrote him for his opinion about the conclusion of the study) that I know pretty well, to analyse in depth Kinchington (comparing Rugby to running is really grotesque and it doesn’t feel like coming from people who run), and if you send me ( blaisedubois@me.com ) Clark I could analyse it in detail. It would be my pleasure also to name and explain in details the studies that mention for certain subjects the opposite. I just finished a review of more than 250 articles directly linked to shoes and this exercise will be great education… I will explain also why I said that shoes weaken foot tissues, why shoes (and not specifically athletic shoes) can bring deformities like hallux valgus. About heel stiking and its link with the shoes, I invite you to listen again my presentation.

      Finally Simon, I do agree that shoes alter joint moments and accelerations (but not always in the good way), reduce pressure (Yes I teach the same thing), protect from the environment (Yes, even minimalist shoes), influence injury patterns (Yes… I think that traditional shoes can increase injuries). I have also an issue with “one kind of shoes is assigned to every runner”. Why more than 95% of the ASICS shoes sales are big bulky shoes (or PECH shoes or Light trainers and bigger… with high heel, cushioning and/or antipronator technologies, …)? All of that, with no evidence that those characteristics decrease the risk of injuries for runners!

      Last question: someone starts a running program. What kind of shoe do you recommend to minimize the risk of overall injuries? And if it’s a ‘nimbus – cumulus’ type of shoes, can you say that this shoes will prevent injuries? Science must not be political… answer clearly!

      Best regards and see you in Australia for a debate with other scientists and clinicians.

      Blaise

      Répondre
      • Simon Bartold
        déc 12 2011

        no worries Blaise.. I am going to swing this over to Podiatry Arena now so it can be properly displayed in English, and the people you are about to charge $650 for a biased and tunnel visioned view of paradigms that are likely to injury their patients can make up their own minds whether to attend or not

        Répondre
        • déc 12 2011

          « about to charge $650 for a biased and ***tunnel visioned view of paradigms*** that are likely to injury their patients can make up their own minds whether to attend or not »

          You seemed pretty pissed by that $650 fee for the training. Why the hell would shoes manufacturers not be held legally liable for all runners ending the running season injured. I wish you it will not be possible to do this because I think you’ll be looking for another job if I take what I see in my Running Club every years.

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        • bdodson
          déc 12 2011

          Simon, buddy. I’m intersted to know how much time is spent in podiatry school learning about functional movement patterns, and global movement assessments and interventions? My current experience in working with patients who were referred by podiatrists gives me the impression that ‘most’ podiatrists believe the brain to be stationed in the foot; and it seems that you follow suite. You have to take global sensory processing and movement patterning into account when interpreting the effects of footwear. You remind me of my father, in the since that you are extremely hard-headed, closed-minded, and lack the knowledge to draw valid interpretations from scientific literature. Difference is my dad owns a furniture store and I think you have some type of health care training. I need to study for my orthotics final tomorrow — Any advice on foot orthoses?

          Répondre
        • déc 12 2011

          Simon,
          You are ill-intentioned. Stop doing politics and answer questions about science and shoes. That’s the objective of this blog. I want to hear you about children and my answer about the Cheung study. My lecture in Austin was a 50-minute lecture to explain 250 articles. So what I did, that you tried to demolish, is a comprehensive explanation of what the literature tells us… in 50 minutes. Probably better than your 7 scientific articles combined to a sales pitch :)

          Répondre
        • Matt Keith
          déc 13 2011

          I just wanted to respond about the 650 for tunnel vision paradigm. The three day course offers more than just information on the shoes and the lack of research that supports the idea that « big bulky shoes » will protect you from injury. The course offered a review of Assessment and treatment techniques for the injured athlete being demonstrated by a very experienced clinician in Blaise. We also learned about mechanical stress adaptaton which reinforces the idea that in order to strenghten a tissue we have to challenge it with the correct amount of load or training. We often are too protective in our treatment of certain injuries and this course has allowed me to be a more effective clinician by challenging the injured tissue whetherin a runner or not. Even if I did not have a frim belief that the modern day running shoe needs to be challenged scientifically against barefoot or minimalist running I would still say that it was very good value from a Physiotherapy course.

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  13. Simon Bartold
    déc 9 2011

    rediculous.. you know what you said.. Simon won (;

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  14. Luc Fortin
    déc 11 2011

    « [...] Simon, I read the paper, and what the author « thinks » is not published or evaluated in the peer review process. That this could be applicable to other sports and situations ***is a hypothesis*** that needs to be tested. [...] »

    Or is it a belief? 8;-)

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  15. déc 14 2011

    After reviewing all the comments (plus many others from other sites), I have a few questions.

    Please keep in mind that I have been working with Blaise since 2006 and believe that he deserves huge credit for moving this discussion forward for many years. It takes true courage to put controversial (or not) opinions out into the public sphere.

    1. Do you need minimalist shoes to run correctly
    2. Do all runners with traditional shoes run with a heel strike and poor technique
    3. Is it the shoes that make you run better
    4. If there is an increase in injury rates – is it the move to minimalist shoes or the new fascination with technique

    And most importantly – if the injuries are due to a change in technique and/or shoes – then WHY are the vast majority of injuries unilateral (on one side only). I assume that they are changing BOTH shoes and/or applying these new running techniques to BOTH lower extremities.

    I suggest that a majority of these injuries are multifactorial and despite being exacerbated by A change – that a majority of these injuries can be tracked to the spine/pelvis/hip dysfunction. I suggest that isn’t the shoe selection, but the changes in running style that has led to a CHANGE in the type of running injuries we are seeing.

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    • déc 14 2011

      Hi Daniel C.

      « 1. Do you need minimalist shoes to run correctly »

      I would not say it’s 100% required as my experienced with Cumulus showed. I must say though that the longer the distances the trickier it gets to keep a good running form. I am oftenly kidding with Daniel Riou telling I would be a good seller for Cumulus. Daniel R is in charge of orders and choice of running shoes models for the store where he works. So we have another store selling minimalist shoes in our city!

       » 2. Do all runners with traditional shoes run with a heel strike and poor technique »

      Again my answer would be no with my personal experience. I have doubts though if you’re adding speed works and long training sessions let’s say over Half Marathon distance.

      « 3. Is it the shoes that make you run better »

      I strongly belief that a minimalist shoe will make your foot stronger. I guess it will help preventing injuries, right?

      « 4. If there is an increase in injury rates – is it the move to minimalist shoes or the new fascination with technique

      And most importantly – if the injuries are due to a change in technique and/or shoes – then WHY are the vast majority of injuries unilateral (on one side only). I assume that they are changing BOTH shoes and/or applying these new running techniques to BOTH lower extremities. »

      Pretty hard to answer that one for me. Even harder to make studies to prove a theory on this!

      From my experience when I have issues lower than knee it is on my left side. From the knee and above it will be on the right side. So I guess I must have some kind of unbalance. Carrying a back pack on the left side shoulder during almost 100% of my studies after graduating from High School might explain why I have some unbalnce?

      « I suggest that a majority of these injuries are multifactorial and despite being exacerbated by A change – that a majority of these injuries can be tracked to the spine/pelvis/hip dysfunction. I suggest that isn’t the shoe selection, but the changes in running style that has led to a CHANGE in the type of running injuries we are seeing. »

      I agree it has probably multiple sources maybe one of the obvious one beign that we went too far with adaptation abilities of our body (not listening to body, overtraining…).

      My final word why would I want a more built shoe that would leave my feet in an atrophied state? Unless I am not willing to take the time to make a slow transition I would not go with more built shoe. And I would have least go with a less built shoe (we have many interesting models available now).

      One last thing form what I have seen and read amogst barefoot and minimalist runners. For almost everyone discomfort or injuries in the back are a thing from the past. My guess is that barefooting and minimalist running will help you have a better positioned body.

      My 2 cents…

      Répondre
      • déc 15 2011

        Luc,

        You know why I asked these questions. I want to draw attention to the three (or more) independent variables at work here – but being discussed as one.

        1. Shoe selection
        2. Running style
        3. The runner

        From your responses – which I support (except the final question) – we see that shoe selection is independent of the running style (and vice versa). We therefore need to recognize – as is supported by Blaise in the next comment – that it we are not sure which change (shoes or running styke) is being blamed (I intentionally did not use « causing ») for a recent outbreak of injuries in running. Has anyone been able to show that this recent movement has led to an increase/decrease or change in injuries?

        The other major issue I have is with the other uncontrolled variable – the runner. In none of the studies are any of the runner’s « controlled » for asymmetries prior to the study. I suggest that someone completing a simple functional movement screen (FMS) prior to the study would have e been able to find a stronger correlation between asymmetries and injuries than the other variables being studied.

        This is why I take issue with minimalist shoes/running will « fix » most backs. These changes will merely shift the issues elsewhere and only for a short time. Are we not promoting adaptation of tissues – not avoidance of dysfunctions?Shoes will NOT improve asymmetries – and unlike some of the other variables being discussed here – there is a ton of research that shows that – next to previous injuries – asymmetries are the best predictor of injuries.

        A simple example of the confusion being portrayed here is the assumption that the only contributor to increased tibial rotation is excessive or uncontrolled pronation – what about excessive medial rotation of the femur secondary to a lumbar dysfunction.

        On another point – let’s try to be respectful to others – assume the best and let the individual convince you of their own biases.

        Daniel

        Répondre
        • déc 15 2011

          Daniel C,

          Thanks for your answer. I belief that most injuries are somehow correlated to overtraining (not listening to body or breaking the limit of adaptation) and assymetries. I seem to be able to better handle my assymetries now. Is it because my body is stonger? Because I lost weight? Because my impact moderationg behaviour is improved?

          110% agree with you that runners should be controlled.

          Please take note that I do not have much knowledge in health care field. Neither do I have much knowledge about science studies. I am just a recreational runner who was strugling with ITBS and was open minded so I gave it a try to barefoot running in order to see if it would work like it did with other heavier runners like me. Actually I work in IT field.

          Répondre
    • déc 14 2011

      Hi Dan,
      Always a pleasure to read you and your very good questions. See my opinion.
      1. Do you need minimalist shoes to run correctly?
      No, but it helps a lot, and it’s more durable to run well with minimalist shoes than learn and try to keep it with BBS (light trainer and bigger)
      2. Do all runners with traditional shoes run with a heel strike and poor technique?
      NO, not all, but 80 to 90% heel stike and probably more than 40% of recreationnal runners have a big alteration of their impact moderating behavior by running in big bulky shoes
      3. Is it the shoes that make you run bette?
      NO, but more you are close to barefoot, better are our impact moderating behavior (better biomechanics), neuro-physiology (good muscle contraction sequences) and anatomical adaptation of the foot (strenght)
      4. If there is an increase in injury rates – is it the move to minimalist shoes or the new fascination with technique?
      Most of the injuries in a transition to minimalist shoes are due to technic changes (fasciatis, calf and Achilles tendon pathologies, metatarsal stress fracture) but one is linked with less cushion under the metatarsal head (metatarsalgia)

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  16. déc 15 2011

    The reason for the debate was to get the three people in a room in front of 33 Canadian/Canadien retail store owners so we could serve our customers better.

    This point was missed, or perhaps made and then hit with a tsunami and washed away, I am not sure.

    Now there is simply more confusion.

    What I appreciate most is that Daniel Crumback is in our store/stores, literally on the front line and is willing to teach us how we can be better shoe retailers.

    In this blog chain there is great debate and information. If this could somehow be summarized with out the crap, I would bet the retailers in the end may get what we need, help.

    Luke, on behalf of Aerobics First

    Répondre
    • déc 15 2011

      Luke,

      I guess you could serve your customers by offering some minimalist alternatives. Any customer that have natural impact moderating behaviour should be offered to try minimalist shoes or at least less built shoes. Everyone should be strongly warned to not overdo things and listen carefully to their body. Any strore that gets close to this is a goo0d store for me.

      By the way some stores selling minmalist shoes do neet meeet those criterias I think.

      Luc

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  17. Robert Dizes
    déc 15 2011

    Blaise, thank you for the information. Regardless of scientific studies and who is doing them, common sense prevails, the more natural we can get our running form, the fewer injuries we will have.

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  18. déc 17 2011

    We sell many minamalist shoes as do most if not all of the IRRC stores. It is the determination process that is difficult. The key to our success in selling minimalist shoes has been when our store and the referring physiotherapist are working as a team. I would like to thank Matt Keith and Daniel Crumback with their direct assistance and participationin our shoe selling process.

    On a personal note, after not being able to run a step two years ago I ran a 21:30 5k in Austin wearing my new balance MT10′s. I would give 95% of this credit to my physiotherapist, 4% credit to Blaise and 1% credit to the shoes. 5k PB 15:50 1995 when wearing Rockport Dress Brogues 4mm drop, yes I have a picture. 5k PB 15:15 1995 wearing Mizuno Phantoms 8mm drop.

    Répondre
    • déc 17 2011

      Luke,

      I think your not giving yourself enough credit. I have health problems since last July. In the last month a couple of surgeons told me they wish everyone would work as a team with them like I have done. Believe me working on having a better fitness level and health is probably the greates gift you can give to the ones you love.

      Répondre
  19. déc 17 2011

    Luc,

    Perhaps you are right, I give myself credit for listening to those who I believe have my best interest in mind.

    In the store we do the same. It is overlooked that the most important variable is the least controlable by a shoe fitter, consumer behaviour. The cool part is it is what we understand most and what the scientists understand least.

    No one speaks about the importance of colour, the brand name and experience, the lack of avalability of lasts and widths, knowing your customers level of competitiveness, excersise addiction or ability to self regulate.

    The debate is laughable and there can not be a scientific answer if 50% of the equation is contaminated.

    Finally, most of the folks wearing minimal shoes are wearing them too small anyway, luckily this is less catostrophic than in Big Bulky Shoes.

    We need discussion and conversation not hating and hitting.

    Luke

    Répondre
    • déc 19 2011

      The debate’s purpose was honest and its promotion shall be continued. This kind of activity is an excellent way to challenge our practice and to bring it to constant evolution.

      Let me explain one of the biggest issue that we currently have in medicine… (you could surely notice similarities with your shoe retailing activities)

      Every clinician practices within his own knowledge. This knowledge is constantly brought to the next level by continuing education, which is unfortunately frequently influenced by promoters who have commercial interests, such as pharmacological companies. Therefore, we are looking to be oriented towards best practice by rigorous and unbiased science that could be clinically applicable. New clinical guidelines are frequently produced, and a knowledge transfer process is used to spread new information among practitioners. These guidelines bring clinicians to realize how aberrant are certain aspects of their practice, and lead them to change these concepts that maybe were present for a long time… a laborious and sometimes painful process that requires humility!

      I personally think that we should elaborate evidence-based clinical guidelines to change our aberrant practices relative to the promotion and the prescription of running shoes.

      As for clinical guidelines, I am still waiting for Simon’s answers to our two questions.

      Répondre
    • déc 19 2011

      La raison du débat était très honnête et devrait continuer d’être promue. Ce type d’exercice est une bonne manière de confronter nos pratiques et de les faire évoluer.

      Laissez-moi expliquer un des problèmes que nous avons en médecine actuellement… (Vous pourrez remarquer une grande similitude avec votre pratique de détaillant de chaussures.)

      Chaque clinicien pratique à l’intérieur de ses propres connaissances. Ces connaissances sont constamment bonifiées par de la formation continue qui malheureusement est fréquemment influencées par des promoteurs à intérêts commerciaux tel les compagnies pharmaceutiques. Nous cherchons donc le plus possible à se faire orienter dans les meilleures pratiques par une science rigoureuse, non biaisée et applicable cliniquement. De nouveaux guides de pratique sont fréquemment produits et un processus de transfert de connaissances est utilisé pour diffuser cette information chez les praticiens. Ces guides amènent donc les cliniciens à d’abord réaliser que certaines parties de leur pratique sont aberrantes, pour ensuite changer cette pratique, ancrée depuis longtemps… processus laborieux, parfois douloureux, qui oblige à beaucoup d’humilité !

      Je pense donc que nous devrions élaborer des guides cliniques basés sur les données probantes actuellement disponibles pour changer nos pratiques aberrantes relatives à la promotion et la prescription de la chaussure de jogging…

      Pour la conception des guides cliniques, j’attends toujours les réponses de Simon à nos deux questions.

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  20. déc 22 2011

    In conclusion of this very animated post, I would like to thank the contributors who participated to the discussions that brought this debate to another level. Special thanks to Simon and Pete for their scientific contribution.

    I think by reading this blog, each one will be able to make his/her own opinion and certainly push a little further the simplistic reflection in which we too often comforts. To not think too much helps to stay in our comfort zone… and to indulge in a practice sometimes illogical.

    Simon, you can join me directly on my personal e-mail address ( blaisedubois@me.com ) if you prefer. Certain questions remain unanswered from you (it is not about convincing an audience during a 1-hour conference but to justify the exposed science a posteriori!). I will then ask them again:

    1. If someone starts a running program, which kind of shoe would you recommend to this person?
    2. What type do you recommend to children and teenagers who run?
    3. Do you really think the anti-pronation technologies control pronation?
    4. Do the shoes sold by ASICS prevent from injuries?
    5. Do you consider that your references quoted in Austin were valid to justify the prescription of « big bulky shoes » (>95% and more of ASICS’s market) ?

    Looking forward to read all of you in our next posts.
    Happy holidays
    Blaise and is team

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  21. déc 22 2011

    En conclusion de ce blog bien animé, j’aimerais remercier l’ensemble des intervenants qui ont participé aux discussions et qui ont amené ce débat à un autre niveau. Merci spécial à Simon et Pete pour leur apport scientifique.

    Je pense qu’à la lecture de ce blog chacun pourra se faire une réflexion et certainement pousser un peu plus loin la réflexion simpliste dans laquelle on se réconforte trop souvent. Ne pas trop penser aide à ne pas sortir de sa zone de confort… et à se complaire dans une pratique parfois illogique.

    Simon, tu peux me rejoindre directement sur mon courriel personnel (blaisedubois@me.com) si tu préfères. Certaines questions restent sans réponses de ta part (Il ne suffit pas juste de convaincre une audience durant une conférence de 1h mais de justifier la science exposée à postériori !). Je les repose donc ici :

    1. Si quelqu’un débute un programme de course, quel type de chaussures recommandes-tu?
    2. Que recommandes-tu pour les enfants et adolescents qui font du jogging?
    3. Crois-tu vraiment que les antipronateurs contrôlent la pronation?
    4. Est-ce que les chaussures vendues par ASICS préviennent les blessures?
    5. Considères-tu que les références citées à Austin était valables pour justifier la promotion et la prescription des « big bulky shoes » (>95% et plus du marché de ASICS)?

    Au plaisir de tous vous relire dans un autre blog
    Joyeux Noël
    Blaise et toute son équipe

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