What Scientific Studies have to Say about Static Stretching

Honestly, I don’t follow a stretching program. I might stretch every now and then after an easy five to six mile run when my quads or hamstrings feel tight but even then I keep it quick and light. I’ve just never made the commitment to stretch and frankly I’ve been concerned that I might be setting myself up for an injury or hurting my performance. As it turns out a majority of the scientific evidence indicates that I’m fine and there’s no evidence that static stretching is beneficial for preventing injury and there’s a possibility that stretching just before a long run may actually hurt performance.

This is static stretching that I’m talking about, stretching performed while at rest in which the muscle is gradually stretched to the point of discomfort and held for 30 seconds or more — all that routines we used to do in gym class. Static stretching should only be performed after a warm-up or post-run and should never be performed when your muscles are cold. Let me also point out that there’s growing evidence that dynamic stretching, stretching using active muscular effort in which the end position is not held, is beneficial. While I’m going to stick to the topic of static stretching I will mention dynamic stretching briefly in this article and I promise to expand on it in future articles.

Prior to researching this article I’d read a lot about the benefits of static stretching from running websites, books and magazines. The common wisdom is that stretching needs to be part of a good running plan and that the few extra minutes spent each time you go out would pay off in reduced muscle soreness, improved performance and a reduction in the likelihood of injury. As a non-stretcher I wanted to know how these claims held up under medical and scientific scrutiny. So, I explored each of these three common claims one at a time, the results of what I found out make up the bulk of this article.

Reduced Soreness

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the term used to describe the soreness experienced after strenuous or unaccustomed exercise. The pain associated with DOMS usually peaks a day or two after exercise and can last up to five or six days. I reviewed a number of studies that looked at how stretching before or after running impacted the pain associated with DOMS. In general the scientific studies report that “no significant differences were found, regarding any of the parameters, when comparing stretched and nonstretched legs” and that “preexercise static stretching has no preventive effect on the muscular soreness, tenderness and force loss that follows heavy eccentric exercise.” One report from went as far as to state that “similar bouts of static and ballistic stretching induce significant increases in DOMS”, that’s right, stretching actually increased soreness. A systematic review of ten studies performed in 2008 reported that “The evidence derived from mainly laboratory-based studies of stretching indicate that muscle stretching does not reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness in young healthy adults.”

The evidence is pretty clear, static stretching does not help with muscle soreness. I’m also sorry to tell you that in general there’s really nothing that you can do that will prevent, reduce or cure the pain associated with DOMS, it’s one of those things that you have to suffer through along with the rest of us. I’ve always taken DOMS to be a good pain, an indication that I’m making progress – “no-pain, no-gain.”

Improved Performance

I think we’re all looking for ways to improve our running performance. Personally I’m slower than I’d like to be, I’m a middle of the pack runner and while I’m not looking to set any records or even win my age bracket I’d would like place in the top 25-30%. I was very curious if stretching could help give me an extra edge and save 10-15 seconds off me pace. As I’ve alluded to the studies show that there’s no performance benefit from stretching, and at least one study has shown that static stretching can hurt performance of endurance events. A study from The Florida State University released in September 2010 reports that “findings suggest that stretching before an endurance event may lower endurance performance and increase the energy cost of running” and goes on to say “Performance was significantly greater in the nonstretching vs. the stretching condition.”, another study, designed to look at the effects of stretching on vertical jumping (VJ), found that “Despite no adverse effect on VJ, stretching did cause a decrease in lower-extremity power.” Finally a systematic review of 23 articles published in 2004 showed “no evidence that [static stretching] improves running economy”.

While there’s no performance benefit as a result of static stretching and it may actually hurt performance there is growing evidence that a commitment to a dynamic stretching program can improve performance over time (a little more on this later and definitely another article in the near future).

Injury Avoidance

Let’s look at the final claim, injury avoidance, the one claim that I’m sure keeps most people stretching. Nobody wants to be laid-up because they didn’t bother to stretch. So, what does the evidence show? In a report from the CDC published in 2004 the findings show that “There is not sufficient evidence to endorse or discontinue routine stretching before or after exercise to prevent injury among competitive or recreational athletes. Further research, especially well-conducted randomized controlled trials, is urgently needed to determine the proper role of stretching in sports.” Back in 2004, the CDC said there wasn’t enough evidence that stretching played a positive role in injury prevention. They went further by saying that more injuries would be prevented by improved warm-ups, strength training and balance exercises, than by stretching. Another study, one of the largest ever, published in August 2010 on the USA Track and Field website, found no risk or benefit of stretching on injury rates from the almost 1400 volunteers who participated in the study. The report stated that “Over a three-month period there was no statistically significant difference in injury risk between the pre-run stretching and non-stretching groups.” Injury rates, defined as an impairment that prevented running for 3 or more days, were around 16% for each group. It’s important to note that there did seem to be an impact on injury rates as a result of a change of routine, so if you stretch now you should keep it up (read the study for more info).

The studies show that just like the impact on performance and soreness, there seems to be no benefit of static stretching on injury avoidance, when performed before running.


The evidence is clear that static stretching offers no real benefit to runners and while it may increase pain associated with DOMS and have a somewhat negative impact on performance during endurance events, there is also no real harm in a pre-run or post-run stretch either as long as a warm-up is performed fist. But generally the time spent performing static stretches would be better spent on some other beneficial activity. This is good news for me, I’m going to continue my standard no-stretch routine but now I won’t worry about constraining my performance or risking injury.


The good news is that my research has also revealed things that you can do to improve performance and reduce your risk of injury; unfortunately, there’s still no good way to minimize the pain resulting from DOMS. The three main supplemental routines that I came across that can help running performance and reduce injury potential are warming-up/cooling-down, weight training and dynamic stretching, specifically active-isolated stretching. I know I told you not to stretch but this is a different type of stretching, active-isolated stretching can be performed as a warm-up and doesn’t put the same type of strain on muscles as static stretching does. In addition you can get much of the benefits of active-isolated stretching even if it’s performed at a different time of day, like while you’re watching TV just prior to going to bed. I’ll write more about this topic in the future, after I’ve had a chance to learn more about its pros and cons.

A good warm-up and cool-down, 5-10 minutes of light activity, have been shown to be beneficial in preventing injury and improving performance. Warm-ups gets blood flowing to the muscles and the heart, preparing them for more vigorous activity, and the good cool down helps the heart and muscles to slow down gradually, helping with removal of metabolic wastes.

Most of the weight training studies indicated an improvement in running performance as a result of leg strength training. One such 8 week study showed a correlation in the performance of half-squat leg exercises and improved running speed and endurance in well-trained adults. However, a study published in October 2010 showed “no benefits of an 8-week concurrent strength training for running economy and coordination of recreational marathon runners despite a clear improvement in leg strength, maybe because of an insufficient sample size or a short intervention period.” It looks like we’ll need to see the results of some longer-term studies to get a definitive answer, for now, I’d recommend incorporating strength training as a way to improve running performance.

As a final note I’d like to suggest that the best way to prevent injury, improve performance and avoid soreness is to listen to your body, take a rest days as needed, hit the treadmill, pavement or trail and mix things up a bit. To prevent injury, increase your training over a long period of time and invest in some good shoes. If you’re in pain stop running give your body time to heal, seek medical advice if the pain is severe doesn’t go away after a day or two. To improve your speed you need to improve your conditioning and put in the time, do intervals, speed work, and hills and make strength and cross training part of your routine. And, above all else have some fun, it’s ok to challenge yourself but nobody said it has to be torture.

Recommended Best shoes for on Feet All Day

Retail managers, doctors,nurses, pharamacists, security personnel, mechanics, firefighters, factory workers, cashiers, teachers, school students, chefs, and waiters all need comfortable shoes to wear. However, they are not the only ones who need them. Individuals who love to hike and walk can also enjoy the benefits that these shoes can bring. If you are looking for a good pair of shoes or best insoles for arch support (superfeet Insoles), then you might want to check out some of the amazing tips and products we feature here. Finding the best shoes for standing all day plays an integral part in your overall health. This is especially true if your job requires you to be on your feet long hours.

Why Look in Best Shoes for to Stand All Day at Work?

A comfortable and well fitted shoe is very important for your well-being. In fact, there are common ailments that are caused by shoes that do not fit well and are uncomfortable to wear. Some of these problems include: hammertoe, corns, fallen arches or flat feet, bunions, plantar fascitis, clawfoot and swollen ankles. Backache is also caused by too much pressure in the spine due to shoes being too high or too tight. By purchasing and wearing popular brands such as Dansko, you can avoid these common foot problems. Foot problems when left untreated in the long run may require painful and expensive surgeries, injections, therapy and treatment. Imagine all the pain you will spare yourself if you wear shoes with good arch support.

Recommended Best shoes for on Feet All Day

The best Comfy shoes  are sometimes expensive because they are made of top-quality materials such as EVA, polyurethane, or rubber.  Some of these shoes also come with shock absorption to reduce the stress and impact in your legs as they hit the ground. Comfortable shoes which are pupular include Dansko, Crocs, Timberland, Ecco, Merrell, Clarks, Mephisto, Rockport, New Balance Sneakers and Brooks. These brands are popular because they give optimal stability and comfort to the wearer. I recommend that you rotate few pair of shoes daily for comfort. While we have a good number of favorites, some of our recommendations include:

1. Dansko Shoes

Dansko Wayne Men Clogs

Dansko Wayne Men Clogs is part of Dansko’s Walden range. Every part of its design is tailored to make it one of the most comfortable shoes for work, yet it also looks formal enough to be worn in a professional role.

Some of the key features of this shoe include:

  • Uppers made from high quality leather which is water resistant
  • Lace up design silhouette, to combine easy “slip on, slip off” wear with a secure fitting
  • Antimicrobial sock liner that keeps foot odor free
  • Removable insoles, for compatibility with custom orthotics
  •  Added cushioning in the mid sole, to reduce strain on the foot
  • Non-slip rubber outsole for a firm treads on a variety of surfaces
  •  Lightweight construction

Dansko Elise Women Sneaker

Dansko Elise Fashion Sneaker are for those who do not like Dansko XP pr0.  They provide good arch support with slip resistant outsole and they are available in many fun colors.  Upper is made of leather which is water resistant.  These are excellent women chef shoes for on feet all day.

2. Rockport Shoes

Rockport Men’s Eureka Walking Shoe

Rockport’s Eureka is perfect for men in an active job, but who need a smarter look than the touring shoe range. It is one of the good shoes  that men can find, thanks to its strategic cushioning and flexible forefront. Here are some of the features, which make it so good:

  •  Leather upper
  • Match it to any outfit, with both black and brown designs available
  • Breathable mesh lining for cool and comfortable feet
  • Thick interior cushioning and strategic padding, to reduce foot strain
  • Rubber sole, to reduce impact
  • Non-slip grip
  • San Cristino construction, to create a comfortable gait
  • Removable latex foot bed

Rockport Men’s World Tour Classic Walking Shoe

This footwear features a wide base and an excellent footbed that truly brings comfort to the wearer. It also comes with an extra padding in its interiors to help prevent blisters. The soles are easy to maintain and are replaceable.

3. New Balance Shoes

New Balance Men’s MW928

The New Balance 928 offers great stability and enhanced motion control for those people who have an active working day. Every part of it is designed for the perfect comfort of the wearer.

Features include:

  • Leather upper
  • Rollbar for flat feet
  • Wide to Extra wide available
  •  Enhanced Abzorb technology in the heel, for 10% more cushioning
  • Lightening Dry liner, to wick away moisture and keep feet dry and comfortable
  •  Odor resistant
  • Premium foam insert, to disperse pressure and reduce foot strain
  • Approved for diabetic Medicare A 5500 code

New Balance Women’s WW928 Health Walking Laced Shoe

The high-quality padded foot bed makes this ideal for women who have to stand all day at work. The fabric used in its interior dries quickly, which keeps the shoe free from moisture.  These shoes are approved for diabetes.  They offer support for  both oversupination and overpronation due to its rollbar technology.  They are made of leather and therefore are heavier than New Balance 847 Shoes.  They are less breathable than 847.  The deep and wide too box can accomodate orthotics easily.  These are good shoes for flat feet, high arches, artharitis, wide feet and diabetic people.

Dunham by New Balance Men’s Windsor 8000 Waterproof Oxford

This smart Oxford shoe is perfect for people who are looking for a super smart style, but also supportive that men can buy. The Dunham by New Balance Men’s 8000 Waterproof is compatible with custom orthotics. Notable features include:

  • Waterproof leather upper
  •   Available in black or brown
  •  Non-slip Tru-Track rubber sole, for good traction
  •  Abzorb technology in heel and forefront, for excellent shock absorption
  •  Fiberglass shank in mid-sole for better stability
  •   Removable insert

4. Crocs Shoes

These shoes are popular among doctors, nurses, chefs , school kids and for many foot problems – plantar fasciitis and diabetes.

Crocs Unisex Bistro Clog

The Bistro vent clog is one of Crocs’ most popular working shoes for men. This recently improved design has extra breathability, to ensure that chefs stay cool even in the hot kitchen environment. They are also ideal for people working in the health care industry and food industry.

Features of the Bistro clog include:

  • Crocs Lock technology for good traction
  • Thickened metatarsal area for extra protection from spills
  •   Odor resistant
  •  Easy clean design, and quick to dry
  • Enhanced cushioning in foot bed

crocs Men’s Santa Cruz Slip-On

These are comfortable and light weight according to the reviews at Amazon.  They offer good arch support and can be worn without socks.  They are good for summer and feet do not sweat during hot weather.  They are machine washable and insoles are removeable.  They are not waterproof but they can be worn in light rain.

crocs Women’s Mercy Work Clog

These shoes are designed for nurses.  They are slip resistant, odor resistant and come with excellent arch support.  They are easy to clean and closed in the back for added protection.

5. Birkenstock London Clog

Birkenstock Unisex-Adult Shoes London

The Birkenstock London clog is perfectly designed for comfort, ensuring that your feet remain comfortable for the whole day. Birkenstock are confident that the London is one of the comfiest shoes available.

  • Key features of the shoe include:
  • Available with leather upper, or combination wool and leather upper
  • Closed toe design
  • Anatomically correct foot bed, constructed from latex and cork
  • Designed to mold to the shape of the foot
  • Raised toe bar, to accommodate the foot’s natural grip
  • Flexible outsole for good shock absorption

6.  Skechers for Work Shoes

Sketchers shoes are used for many works that require safety shoes.  The Sketchers shape up shoes are good for plantar fasciitis.  They also have special shoes Skechers for Work Men’s Keystone Sneaker for chefs which are oil and water slip resistant.

Men’s Skechers Rockland for Work

Skechers are well known for their trendy, casual styles, which are ideal for the weekend. Their Rockland Systemic design offers an Oxford style shoe, which is a little bit smarter and great for the working day. It has an electrical hazard safe construction, and is ideal for a number of professions.

One of the best work shoes for men! The Skechers shoes for work are built for casual looks while their contoured, cushioned insole brings comfort to the wearer. They also have rubber outsoles which are slip resistant and oil resistant.

  • Features of the Rockland Systemic include:
  • Durable leather upper
  • Stylish stitched overlay design
  • Lace up, for secure fit
  • Padded collar and tongue, for comfortable yet secure wear
  • Non-slip rubber soles for a good surface grip
  • Breathable fabric lining, to wick moisture away from the foot
  • Cushioned insole (removable)
  • Cushioned midsole, for better shock absorption
  • Meets regulations for Electrical Hazard Safe design
  • Safe in both oily and wet conditions
  • Available in extra wide width fittings

Women’s Skechers  Premium-Premix Sneaker

These sneakers are made for nurses and they are popular due to no shoe laces.   They are easy to slip in and out. They are comfortable with arch support and cushioning.  They come with slip resistant outsole for oily and watery floors.

7. Timberland Shoes

Men’s Five Star Timberland PRO Biltmore Chef  Shoe

The Timberland PRO Biltmore is perfect for those who work as either a chef or a nurse. It is the height of practicality and function, with the following features:

  •  Leather upper
  • Easy to clean, for good hygiene
  •  Water-resistant
  • Abrasion and stain resistant
  • Non-slip sole, even on wet surfaces

Timberland PRO Renova Shoes For Women

These shoes are popular among nurses and chefs offer slip resistant outsole along with midsole that comes with anti fatigue technology.  These shoes are easy to clean.

Propet Women’s W3902 Tour Walker Velcro Sneaker

Perfect for women who have to stand for long hours, this shoe high lights a padded lining and footbed. It also keeps the foot cool and dry through its perforated upper design.

Standing Comfort Men’s Stretch Athletic Slip-On

The insole is shock absorbing that helps this comfortable during all day standing at workwhile its breathable material keeps your foot cool and dry. It comes with a wide toe box and optimal arch support.