Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine Share Tweet Pin Share There is more than one school of thought on shoe features; sometimes personal experience speaks for itself. During research I found some sound advice from a Dr. Von Hof regarding airbags in shoes. He referenced and article from the Pedorthic NewsWire ( Corporate name is Aetrex Worldwide; Phil Simms is a spokesperson), and after having agreed with most of it took exception to their stance on avoiding any athletic shoes with "...airbags, liquid gel, shocks, rebound, and bounce,...". Their reasoning is the gels' abnormal cushioning will cause more instability of the foot, and when the bags deteriorate the shoe itself is unstable, which will lead to more problems. This part doesn't make sense; if the shoes' problem is the airbags, what difference does their eventual condition make if they themselves are a problem in the first place? Dr. Von Hof actually has and describes the schematics of a shoe airbag in his blog. He is a runner himself and endorses airbags for his situation. This is quite a detour from opinions on minimal footwear where Happy Feetz took a look at five finger shoes. The arguments there are compelling as well; some runners are only happy being as close to bare feet as possible. There is a video posted on barefoot running. Billions of dollars is spent researching the best designs for athletic shoes to improve performance and reduce injuries. Unfortunately, injuries are on the rise. Do your due diligence to decide what features you want in your shoe, and whether they are the best features for your foot and for the purpose of their use. Injuries can take months from which to recover; getting professional advice from a Podiatric sports medicine specialist can save you money in the long run; there are many factors to think of regarding shoe features you need. Considerations: Fitness Level: If your activity is sporadic or minimal, get professional advice for shoe type Age: Muscle strength and foot padding diminish with age; the same shoe may not work for you ten years later Weight: More weight forced on the same area of the foot increases the chance of injury; an evaluation is ideal Type of Activity: A cycling shoe, hiking shoe, and running shoes are all designed differently; choose accordingly Thanks to Dr. Von Hof for his observation.