Whether you’re training for your fifth ultra-marathon, lacing up to tackle your first kilometre on the metaphorical road to a fitter life or anywhere else in-between, all runners have one thing in common: Their shoes are an important component to comfort and success.
Unfortunately shoes don’t last forever — even if you’ve found the perfect pair for your physicality, gait and goals — and it’s important to know when to retire your trusty old kicks and break in a fresh pair.
“Running in a pair of beat up and worn-out shoes can be detrimental for your training, especially if we don’t ease back into running,” says The Athlete’s Foot Training and Medical Manager Kelly Burton. She says things like lack of support, shock absorption and protection in your shoes can lead to injuries — and injuries slow, or even halt, your training and fitness progress.
Here are seven signs that it’s time for you to retire your old shoes, get fitted for a new pair and keep pounding the pavement or trails.
1. The kilometres are adding up
If you’re running multiple times a week at five kilometres or more each time, around the 500 kilometre mark is when you’ll want to revisit the wear and tear of your shoes, along with how you’re feeling after a run. For many runners, after putting in that much distance, their footwear has lost some of its cushioning and support, and their shoes need to be replaced. However, some runners can get about 1,000 kilometres out of their footwear, which generally equates to around 12 straight months of use.
2. You’re experiencing aches and soreness
If you’re experiencing minor aches and pains (like shin splints or knee discomfort) during and after your runs that you weren’t feeling when you first started using your shoes, that can be an indication that it’s time to shop for a new pair. And once you lace them up, you might find that not only has the soreness disappeared, but that you have a little more bounce in your step.
4. You’re coming off a running hiatus
Even if your running shoes aren’t completely worn out from previous use, you might want to look into snagging a new pair if you’re starting to get back into running after some time off.
“The general rule is like our muscles, if you don’t use them, you lose them—the same occurs with our shoes,” says Burton. “They have a life span even if you don’t use them. Some customers have experienced their outsole coming apart from the midsole of the shoe after storing them for six months in the cupboard. We need to use [our shoes] to keep them functioning.”
5. You’ve got a new training goal
The type of exercise you’re doing influences the best shoe for you. Say for example, you’re changing your training regimen to include more long-distance running or you’re shifting to shorter but more intense workouts, like high intensity interval training.
“Shoes bought for a specific purpose can enhance your run,” says The Athlete’s Foot Franchisee Jason Le Roux. “A long distance runner should be in a more cushioned shoe, and for a faster tempo run, a lightweight more responsive shoe.”
Additionally, if you’re shifting from one type of exercise to another, you might want to look into fresh footwear.
“Dependent on the last time that you wore these shoes and the types of activities that you used them for prior, the wear patterns on them could be moulded in a different shape, which might not support and protect your foot for the running movement,” says Burton. “We have found this when a customer used their runners previously as a gym shoe [for classes or weight-lifting], there are different stresses placed on the shoes from those activities. When they put them on to undertake running, they found the upper and midsole weren’t as supportive as they could have been, which prompted the runner to adjust their training technique.”
6. Your body has changed
If you’ve lost or gained weight or experienced a rather drastic change in physicality, the biomechanics of your feet may have changed as well, which can influence the shape and fit of the perfect pair of running shoes for you.
7. They smell terrible
The more you run, the more you sweat. The more you sweat, the more your shoes stink. And after all, nothing beats that new shoe smell.
Source: Mashable | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide