New sports medicine study: Good running shoes, fewer injuries?

2017 - 09 - 21

New sports medicine study: Good running shoes, fewer injuries?

What is the link between running shoes and injury risk? To address this question, the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory (SMRL) at LIH’s Department of Population Health has launched a large-scale study in mid-September that will closely monitor 800 volunteer regular runners during a period of six months. The participants will run with cushioned shoes specially designed for this study.

The SMRL, created in 2009, aims to provide decisive information and new solutions for prevention, therapy and sports-related issues to patients, athletes of any level, trainers, physical therapists, medical doctors and decision makers in sports and public health. The research unit has developed several lines of research in partnership with the Sports Clinic of the “Centre Hospitalier de Luxembourg” in Eich. One of the main research areas is the prevention of running injuries.

Luxembourg, a pioneer in the field

The majority of running injuries are overload injuries of the lower limbs that occur due to excessive or inappropriate biomechanical constraints (e.g. over-intensive training) and develop progressively. Therefore, it is important to determine whether the running technique has an impact on injury risk. It has been proven that the running shoe, and in particular its cushioning, can influence the running technique. The SMRL now aims to analyse these two aspects in a single study with 800 participants followed for six months.

This new study coordinated by sports medicine scientist Dr Laurent Malisoux is the first worldwide to investigate both running technique and injury risk in such a large cohort and over such a long time. State-of-the-art technologies that are only available in very few sports medicine laboratories in Europe will be used for the study. The scientists hope to find out amongst other whether the runners' weight has an influence on the risk of getting injured and/or on the running technique and whether one should choose running shoes according to one’s weight. 

Wanted: 800 volunteer runners

Anyone who is in good health, regardless of weight, physical condition or experience, and who is willing to practice regular running activities over a period of six months, can participate in this study. Each participant will test a pair of running shoes during the whole duration of the study and benefit from a detailed analysis of his/her performance for free.

Participants will be invited to a preliminary visit to the SMRL. During six months, they will be required to run at least once a week using only the shoes provided (and only for running sessions) and to register all training sessions (and competitions), as well as the occurrence of pain or injury, on an electronic platform developed by the research unit: All participants will be invited to a conference at which the overall results of the study will be presented (in autumn 2018).

The inclusion criteria for the study as well as the information related to the registration process can be found on

A press release on this subject is available in French and German.