Have Your Running Shoes Run Their Course? As National Running Day just passed us by, it’s a great time to lace up those sneakers and start running. But do you know when your shoes a run their course and are ready to be replaced?
Running in shoes that are worn-out and not protecting your joints from impact as they once were can lead to running injuries. Here are a few signs to know when your running shoes are ready for retirement:
The best way to keep track of when to replace your shoes is by recording your mileage in a running log, a running device, or running app. A good rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes every 300-500 miles, depending on the shoe type, your running style, body weight, and the surface you are usually on. If you run only on roads, you’ll need to replace your shoes sooner than if you do primarily treadmill running.
If you begin feeling an onset of pain after running in the same shoes you’ve had for a long period, they have probably lost their cushioning. Muscle fatigue, aches or pain in your knees, hips or back after running are good indications that your shoes are no longer functioning as they should.
Soles last much longer than a shoe’s cushioning, so if your soles are showing wear – the tread is worn-down flat – then you know that they are definitely in need of replacement.
If your shoe twists easily when holding at both ends and slightly twisting in opposite directions, then it is a tell-tale sign they’re worn out. A shoe should remain firm when holding like this, and definitely not twist.
Take A Look
If you see heavy compression lines on the mid-sole cushion between your sole and your foot-bed, those are signature wrinkles that your shoes are past due. If your heels are stretched out, one side is substantially worn-down, or your shoes have molded to your feet, these are also the same telling signs.
Trying on a new pair of shoes is a good way to compare where your running shoes are at comfort-wise. If the new pair feels much more comfortable and you can tell the difference of cushioning or “bounce,” your old shoes are likely not providing that any longer.
As the wear-out of running shoes can vary with the multiple variables and preferences of people wearing them, taking care of your shoes is the best way to get the most out of them. Here are a few best practices for taking care of your favorite running shoes:
Wear your “running shoes” only for that…running. Even if you put them on to walk around in, you’re still wearing the cushion out.
Untie and loosen your laces before taking them off. Sliding out of tied shoes, or slipping them on that way, will break down the heels.
Let Them Breathe
Taking your shoes off and tossing them into a pile after a sweaty run will not only cause odor build-up, but also will misshape the body of the shoe. Lay the shoes sole-down and tongue pulled slightly open to air them out. Placing a bit of crumpled-up news paper inside can help to keep the shape.
*Please be aware that this article is not a diagnosis, prescription or recommendation for any individual. Before you start a new exercise or food program, you should always talk it over with your doctor. He or she may have specific recommendations — or warnings — depending on your health and the other medicines you take.