The newest trend in running shoes; cushioning. Check out this NY Times article.
As recently featured in our interview from Runners High in Metuchen, manufacturers are retooling and rethinking how a running shoe should not only have us run but how it should absorb the shock from the road. In the interview, Rob had mentioned a new shoe design from Hoka which is becoming hugely popular, with its wide base of support (straight last), shock distribution ability and overall unique design, which should help reduce injuries and improve the enjoyment of running.
While other manufacturers of well known lines such as Nike and Saucony are retooling and refining their products, small companies such as Hoka are redefining what a shoe should be and while trends come and go, occasionally a company will hit a home run with a great product.
Absorbing shock from the ground is not a new idea, but how you do it is constantly changing and being the running shoes is a competitive market, those with the designs runners want most are likely to hit a home run and sell a huge amount of shoes if they get it right, and it can make a small company go large very fast.
While the shoe itself is just part of the equation on how to absorb shock, the pelvis it a huge shock absorber as well as the lower leg/calf/ankle/foot and gait asymmetry will distort the pelvis and reduce or eliminate the ability of the pelvis to absorb shock, creating gait problems, injuries and problems with ground impact, both in runners and walkers. Asymmetry in your gait, an inherited trait is often ultimately the culprit and using methods such as foot orthotics or the local chiropractor can help, so neither of these is going away in the future.
While running shoes definitely can help, your running style, mileage and body style all play a part on how to reduce running injuries, however, the right shoe can certainly help.
Forget Barefoot; New Trendsetter in Running Shoes Is Cushioning