Running shoes can be broken down into essentially three categories, Motion Control, Stability and Cushion. Stability shoes are also referred to as medium support in reference to the fact that the type of runner that needs this shoe requires some level of arch support. Selecting the proper running shoe is the most important part of becoming a long distance runner.
Pretty soon, more and more recreational runners will accept that runners knee stems from running shoes with cushioning, simply because analyses of many findings lead to questions about the role of maximum cushioned running shoes in protecting the knee. Contrary to conventional wisdom, cushioning in a running shoe is a potential risk factor for knee pain, particularly cushioning under the heel.

Kerrigan et al.  (2009) found that a thick heeled running shoe increased knee flexion torque and compressive loading within a range where degenerative changes occur at the knee-joint.
An explanation for this is that excessive cushioning creates difficulty for the central nervous system to detect changes in surface dimensions or hardness to optimize foot strike behavior. Many studies are putting heel strike running along with the thick heeled footwear heel strikers wear, in a sorry situation. Though, it is tempting to jump to conclusions and state that knee pain is caused by heel strike running, the bright side is, forefoot strike running in minimalist running shoes reduce knee pain. Forefoot runners who are either barefoot runners or minimalist runners, are less likely to over-stride and generate compressive loading and knee-joint torque.

In the case of protecting your knees when running, less is certainly more when it comes to running shoes. Heel cushioning of a running shoe influences over-striding, impairs foot-placement awareness, and leads to a greater exchange of momentum with the ground, all of which causes the knee to take a beating.
This is why I launched Run Forefoot, to advocate the health & performance benefits of forefoot running and to raise awareness on the dangers of heel striking, because the world needs to know.

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