Simple: there are lots of good shoes out there, and lot of them have a purpose….or rather a reason to be there.
But let’s be clear. Shoes don’t run. Runners run. And shoes are just part of the equipment that runners use to achieve their goal.
The industry has created a fallacy of pronation control that has become the “accepted truth” yet, the research does not support this paradigm. Sure shoes do make a difference – but trying to match by arch height, foot shape, static measures, etc just aren’t supported in peer-reviewed research. The old stand-by criteria doesn’t past muster, and they don’t decrease running injuries. As I was quoted in the Atlantic – “the industry as a whole does a horrible job of matching footwear to runners.” Now don’t get all bent out of shape – there ARE good, dedicated people (pearls in the sea) out there who do take the time and do have knowledge to help. But the average runner is getting their shoes fit by a high school kid who works part time, and the only thing he knows about shoes is whatever he has picked up from the biases of the particular store in which he works.
The industry has yet to dedicate time, energy, and the financial responsibility to enable the specialty running retailer do a better job in matching your needs as a runner to the best equipment for you. And that needs to happen. Now.