As the run specialty industry continues to struggle with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an interesting video has been released called “The Great Running Shoe Debate” that takes on some of the pre- and post- pandemic shoe design issues faced by running shoe vendors and retailers. 

Held in mid-February at the University of British Columbia in Canada, and hosted by Phil Moore of of FitFirst Footwear and LadySport, and moderated by FitFirst Footwear and LadySport co-owner Evan Moore, the debate turned out to be one of the last public events in the running business before everything was essentially shut down last month.

The video can be viewed at

 The debate featured four world-class researchers who are responsible for some of the most current research on running, shoes and running injuries/ biomechanics. They came together under one roof to debate the tough questions of the day surrounding running shoes. At a time when everyone is focused on staying in business, the video provides an interactive reminder that there, indeed, was life for the run specialty business before – and will be after – COVID-19.

The esteemed researchers on the panel included Dr. Michael Ryan C. Ped (C), Phd; Dr. J. F. Esculier PT. Phd, Sport Physiotherapy Certificate; Dr. Chris Napier PT, PhD, Sport Physiotherapist; and Dr. Chris Maclean Phd.

The goal of sponsoring the debate and releasing the video this week is to continue to create conversations around an important element of the run specialty business. The organizers will be adding a call to action in all of their messaging, encouraging people to leave comments and call or email them to chat further about the debated topics.

The complete video is fairly lengthy – almost two hours in length – so the organizers created a few small clips (on its youtube page --

  • that includes at least one for each panel member.

For more: email [email protected]

There was no cost for this lecture but attendees were encouraged to donate to the one of two causes: BC Sports Medicine Research Foundation, which was created to promote research and increase knowledge in the field of sport and exercise medicine; or the UBC School Of Kinesiology, which will apply donations to scholarships that help remove financial barriers for talented students.