All modern athletic footwear use similar sole materials, therefore equally insulate users from plantar tactile information used in moderating both aggregate impact and overloading of foot structures. This information is also used in maintaining stable equilibrium. These footwear are also similar in amplified impact associated with maintaining stable equilibrium. It therefore would be anticipated that injury frequency would be high and uniform across manufacturers and shoe models. Yet Marti found that expensive footwear cause more than twice as many injuries than the cheaper ones, regardless of manufacturer, which suggests that humans run with amplified impact with expensive shoes, and moderate impact with cheap ones, therefore factors other than behavior maintaining stable equilibrium accounts for impact while wearing running shoes. Humans may alter the amplitude of impact while running in relation when wearing running shoes in relation to advertising suggestions inferring protection with more expensive models. This hypothesis was examined in this report.
Impact was measured when subjects landed on a force platform covered with the identical shoe sole material which was advertised as possessing novel features that offer improved protection and as similar to sole material found on cheaper running shoes. Results indicated significantly greater impact associated with landing on sole material deceptively advertised as coming from more expensive shoes. With both an a higher incidence of injuries and a now proven causal mechanism, this report meets contemporary scientific standards for causal inference as to how more expensive shoes account for more injuries. Specifically, advertising produces a false sense of security which results in mechanics involving greater impact.
Links to relevant published reports:1997-3.pdf