How Do You Know When It’s Time for New Shoes?

  • The Running Team
  • Written on:

Your running shoes are like the tires on your car. No matter how well you maintain them, eventually they're going to need a change. What's more, if they're not replaced in time - much like wheels out of alignment - worn out running shoes can start to wear you out as well. This is why it's crucial to know what symptoms to look for when it's time to lace up some new sneakers.

Monitor your mileage: If you consistently keep track how far you run over time, this is an easy trick to follow. Generally, shoes have a shelf life between 300 to 500 miles. That sounds like a lot, but depending on how hard you run and how far, it can add up faster than you’d think. For example, a regimented distance runner often runs 6 to 10 miles a day, five days a week for a total between 30 to 50 miles. That means within 10 weeks, the runner has already pushed the shoe’s support to its limit.

Worn treads: The beauty in most running shoes is that they tend to tell you not only when you need a replacement, but also, what kind of shoe you need for a replacement. Depending on your running style, the treads on your shoes will be worn down in specific areas. If your feet pronate or supinate when you run, you’ll see a heavy wear pattern on the sides of your shoes depending on your form. If you run more on the balls of your feet or on your heals, your shoes will similarly show signs there too. Even if the rest of the shoe looks like it’s in pristine condition, if the places where your feet strike the ground are compromised the shoes are nolonger supporting your feet.

Unusual soreness: If you’re stretching, warming up, cooling down, and doing everything you’ve been trained to do to avoid injury, and you still feel a strange soreness after your workouts your shoes may be to blame. Even if they aren’t worn out, if you’re running with the wrong type of shoes for your running form you could be doing more harm than good. Always check the support rating on shoes, read any and all listed reviews, and if possible, consult with in-store specialists, athletic trainers or –if necessary, your doctor to know what kind of shoes are right for your feet. No matter what, however, if your shoes are getting in the way of enjoying your run, it’s definitely time for a change.

These are just a few tips for runners created by runners. If you have additional tips, please feel free to share in the comment box below or on Facebook or Twitter.