Lower‐limb running injuries are common. Running shoes have been proposed as one means of reducing injury risk. However, there is uncertainty as to how effective running shoes are for the prevention of injury. It is also unclear how the effects of different characteristics of running shoes prevent injury.
- Neutral/cushioned shoes may make little or no difference to the number of runners sustaining injuries or footwear satisfaction compared with minimalist shoes.
- It is uncertain if motion control shoes reduce the number of runners sustaining injuries compared with neutral/ cushioned shoes.
- Soft midsole shoes may make little or no difference to the number of runners sustaining injuries compared with hard midsole shoes.
- It is uncertain if stability shoes reduce the number of runners sustaining injuries compared with neutral/cushioned shoes.
- It is uncertain whether or not motion control shoes reduce the number of runners sustaining a lower-limb running injuries when compared with stability shoes.
- Prescribing running shoes and selecting on foot posture probably makes little or no difference to running injuries.
- Future researchers should develop a consensus definition of running shoe design to help standardise classification. The definition of a running injury should be used consistently and confirmed via health practitioners. Researchers should consider a randomised controlled trial design to increase the evidence in this area and explore the influence of different types or running shoes upon injury rates in specific subgroups.