You may have wondered how much certain brand names matter when it comes to your performance as a runner. Often we ask ourselves why we might not have performed as well as we did and might blame our shoes as the culprit. We look to others who did better and wonder if having the brand name shoe they wore could have made a difference.

The answer is it might have.

A new study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that brands can improve performance but do it mostly when the user is less experienced. In this study two groups of golfers were given different information about the putter they were using. The first group was told they were using a Nike putter. The second group was not told about the putter brand.. The two groups were using identical putters, yet one group prevailed.

The group that used the brand name putter took significantly fewer putts to sink the ball. It turns out for beginning golfers this is really important, but the effect wears off for more experienced players. The idea is that a strong performance brand makes people feel better about themselves and matters less if the golfer is more experienced.

Can we extrapolate this to runners? I've not found a similar study conducted with this population, however, it would be an interesting theory to test.

What we do know is that a running shoe that fits well, corrects for particular foot mechanics, and other factors can make a difference in comfort, foot pain prevention, and performance. But if you think a certain brand has what it takes to leap in front of the crowd, by all means buy it if it meets all the other criteria.

If you're experiencing foot pain even with the best shoes for you, call us today at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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