Replacing running shoes is a crucial part of any runner’s routine for safe, effective, and comfortable running. It is essential to know when to replace your running shoes. Worn-out shoes can lead to decreased performance, increased risk of injury, and even cause foot, knee, and back problems.
How Long Do Running Shoes Last?
Most running shoes should easily last between 300 and 500 miles, but every runner is different. Different running styles, your weight, terrain, and intensity all affect how quickly your shoes deteriorate and lose absorption and resiliency.
Generally, running shoes should be replaced when they lose the capacity to absorb shock. When your running shoes cannot absorb shock, it will impact your muscles and joints.
If you run between 15 and 25 miles weekly, you should change your shoes every five months. You can use a smartwatch or your phone to keep track of your mileage to know with certainty when you’ve logged 300 to 500 miles of running. You can also get a more accurate time frame by keeping the receipt showing the purchase date of your running shoes.
Whichever way you choose, it will inform you of when the time has come, and the end is near, for your running shoes to face their final crossing.
Signs Your Running Shoes Need to Retire
Poor Shock Absorption
The first indication that it’s time to invest in a new pair of running shoes is when the cushioning starts to feel flat or less supportive. This diminished absorption can cause aches in the arches of your feet and other joints such as your ankles, Achilles tendons, and knees. Not only can this impact your performance, but it can also lead to more severe issues if left unchecked.
Painful Muscles or Joints
Pain is a warning sign that your running shoes have been worn for too long and no longer provide adequate cushioning. This can lead to strain on your ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones, as well as increased sensitivity around the heel or arch of the foot. Shin splints are another common symptom of shoes that have lost their cushioning and support, and the pain can be felt on one or both sides.
Like a spare tire, running shoes can only last so long before they wear out. Visible signs of wear, such as creasing on the outer sole, separation of the heel, fabric wearing away from the bottom, or the sole becoming exceedingly soft and squishy, indicate that it is time to replace them. Additionally, if the shoe’s upper part begins to tear or fray or the tread grip pattern on the bottom has worn away, it is a sure sign that new shoes are necessary.
Tips to Keep Your Running Shoes Going Strong and Long
- Buy and rotate two pairs of shoes: Use one pair of running shoes only for running and the other for walking around town.
- Take your shoes off correctly: Being tired after your run, you probably just use your foot to kick down the heel of the other to pry off your shoe. In doing this, you can destroy the back of your running shoe. Take the time to recover, then unlace your shoes and slip them off.
- Unlace your shoes. When you unlace your running shoes, you need to tie them to put them on. If you are just slipping your foot back into your shoe with the laces tied, you force the shoe’s material, which can stretch out the shoe. Stretching out the top of the shoe will cause the shoes to lose that snug fit that contributes to compression.
So, by understanding when to replace your running shoes, you can run better, safer, and more effectively. Most importantly, you will get the best feeling and result from your running session.
One of the things you trust and love dearly, like your spouse, is your running shoes. Just as your partner is so comfortable to snuggle with, your running shoes have the same relationship with your feet. Your trusty pair of running shoes were always there for you with the good, the bad, and the ugly runs. And they never complained when they got wet or dirty.
However, although they lost that lovely feeling, instead of throwing them in the trash, donate them to help an unfortunate pair of feet feel comfortable.
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