He would be far better off running barefoot. If you run barefoot you step lightly and your foot will adapt to the ground. Nature trumps modern running shoes every time. It is very hard to sprain your ankle barefoot. The only downside is that because most people now wear shoes all their life their feet are really atrophied and soft from lack of use, so there is a initial period of adaptation where your feet and ankles gain muscle mass and become stronger and your skin becomes thicker. It takes time but after a while you will notice you are running faster than the people in shoes and suffering fewer injuries.
@Garthm9 .. The reasons why people new to sports are more likely to injure themselves are many.. But the most prominent one is that when you start a new sport you are using your muscles and skeletal structure in a new way with much impact.. by training for a while you will get stronger muscles supporting your joints, but also get denser bone tissue which supports your muscles.. The lack of this would be the number one reason for injuries.
Someone who have been running for a while will not have the exact same physioligy as someone who only walks, as the body builds for what you do. When running it is very important (for speed and health) to put your foot down "straight".. This is something your body will adjust for during several years of training, which means that someone who have trained for a while do not need the "hard" parts of the shoe that is supposed to force your foot straight. If we add the denser bone structure handeling harder impact (and less dampening in the shoes do increase speed), those who have trained for a long time would not need as expensive shoes as those who have not.
And when it comes to people who train a lot knowing their limits. They only know to which point they have trained their body to.. The lead of injuries are not those new to the sport.. it's those who were close to elite, but who "dropped out from training" for a couple of years or more and gets back. They know what they can do? They are just the ones who survived the first time round.
The runningstyle of someone who is barefoot don't lead to neccesarily cheaper shoes. They still use shoes, and ugly expensive ones at that. They look like someone took a foot and used a couple of bike-tire repair kits on it.
I am overweight, and once when I was going to so something about it by trying to add some training I got "PERIOSTITIS" (according to google translate that is the word).. I did not train hard.. I did a light interval walk/slow jog on a track that was covered in saw dust.. Due to the fact that I weigh as much as I do, and started from nil, and my overpronation I got periostitis after just one run.. a one mile run.. Since it is considered a unneccesary luxury operationI(hey, it heals by itself) it is not covered by our free medicare, so the tissue that is supposed to surround the bone is now in part fused with the bone, and that makes it even more suseptable for inflamations.. So, just to not get it again from just walking on a stone floor for more than two hours.. I really needs the best fit possible.. I tested out which shoes were trully optimal for me and those shoes cost three times the normal price of "nikes best", and they are worth it.. totally worth it. So making a joke about an untrained overweight engineer buying expensive shoes?.. I don't get the joke, he is the one who needs it (aspecially since we see him running around the corridores or in different meetings or other places more often than in his cubicle).. (though, it's not exactly the price that makes the difference, he should try the shoes in a running-lab and get the best fit instead, often price only relates to the merchandice value of the brand)
I have recently gotten back into running after being out of it for quite a while and I did a lot of shoe research (including talking to a lot of sales people). What I found was that the people buying the more expensive shoes seem to be the people who are newer to the sport. As with any sport, these are the most likely to incur injury since they have not built up the necessary strength and skill to prevent injury. Also, they have not learned their limits yet. Yes, they are buying expensive shoes in the hopes that these shoes will help prevent injury (as suggested in the study), and that might make them over confident and encourage them to make stupid mistakes that lead to injury, but the real cause is their lack of knowledge about what they can and cannot do.
Oddly, the current trend (possibly fad) is to move towards a gait/stride that is toe-heal based (as opposed to heal landing first then the foot rolling up to the toe) mimicing the running styles of the Kenyan runners. The ultimate goal of this style of running is to be barefoot (the least expensive option in shoe buying). The intermediate steps to get to this style includes using less supportive shoes, which currently, are the less expensive.
If only Dilbert could have put off this purchase decision of a dozen years, he could have saved a fortune on shoes.
"Fancy running shoes may even lead to injury, experts say. Some studies show that when runners don expensive running shoes that promise superior cushioning, they incur more injuries than runners using cheaper shoes.
The authors of one such study concluded that there was a â€œtendency in humans to be less cautious when using new devices of unknown benefit because of overly positive attitudes associated with new technology and novel devices.â€"
Please note, nowhere does it mention how often the people run.