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#1 Debate on Injury Prevention

On November 8, 2013, a debate on running shoes was held at Université de Lausanne in Switzerland. A concept intended to get ideas across and take stock on current knowledge and practices. Panel members were from all walks of the trade with a high level of knowledge and experience.


Rules of the debate: Blaise would answer any question in 5 minutes and panel members, who had seen the slides beforehand, would present their counterarguments. Blaise did not know the counterarguments in advance. The public was also asked to take part in the discussion. Conclusion: It was a wholesome, honest, and lively debate. It will also probably contribute to the deconstruction of certain dogmas and preconceived ideas… regardless of people’s allegiance, whether they are for or against minimalism.




  • Gabriel Messmer (Founding President of Evaleo santé durable)
  • Jacques Wullschleger (sports journalist)


Panel Members (Counterarguments)


  • Boris Gojanovic, Chief Medical Officer – Swiss Olympic Medical Center, Haute École Fédérale du Sport de Macolin
  • Eric Haefelin, Swiss Representative for ASICS, running shoe manufacturer
  • Davide Malatesta, Ph.D., responsible for research and education at ISSUL, Université de Lausanne
  • Grégoire Millet, Ph.D., Professor of Sports Physiology, Director of ISSUL, Université de Lausanne
  • Laurent Paonessa, Co-Owner – New Concept Sports, specialized shoe consultant


Question 1 of 6: Injury prevention: What is the basis for our recommendations?


TRC Position: A total of 80% of injuries are caused by a mechanical overload brought about by a change in running habits. The best way to prevent injuries is mechanical stress quantification  ... body adaptation to mechanical stress. Shoes and biomechanics are but a tiny piece of the puzzle.



- Grégoire Millet: Where do you get the 80% figure... because it all sounds scientific when someone uses percentages…
- Blaise replies: This is a personal opinion… it is to explain the fact that mechanical stress quantification is much more important in the prevention of running injuries than shoes are…

In my opinion (in hindsight)


We were all talking the same language using different words… actually, this is a topic on which everybody agrees, with a few tweaks here and there! Next week, question 2 of 6: Running shoes: definition and state of knowledge (minimalist vs. maximalist, value of integrated technologies)