By: Gina Redican of Accel Fitness
The “new shoe” conversation happens more often at my gym than my clients would like. They like to believe their running shoes have a longer lifespan than they actually do. “But they still have plenty of tread,” they say, and I respond, “that doesn’t mean your shoe is still doing its job.” According to Runner’s World Magazine, running shoes typically have a lifespan of 300-500 miles and that depends on your stature and your running or walking style. If you’re a heavy walker with a hard heel-strike, then your shoes will wear out sooner.
Walking, jogging or even casually wearing a pair of worn-out shoes will no longer provide the structural support your foot needs and can subsequently cause chronic problems like plantar fasciitis and iliotibial band syndrome (overuse injury of the connective tissues located on the lateral or outer part of thigh and knee). Often a new pair of shoes can alleviate pain felt in the knees and back, especially if you get the right pair for your feet. A store like Runner’s High in Belmont Shore will have trained professionals to help you find the right shoe for your unique foot and walking pattern.
Here are some ways to tell if your shoes are worn out: high mileage, pain while running, poor shock absorption (if you can feel the impact of each step, your shoes are worn), uneven wear, and worn out treads (the soles last longer than the shoe’s cushioning). Try the Twist Test: your shoe should have some stiffness and resistance if you try to twist it, if not, then it’s new shoe time! Another tip: alternate your shoes and let them rest for 24 hours to allow the cushioning to bounce back and perhaps extend the lifespan of your shoe and the health of your feet.
Give your running shoes a once-over, and if they have lived their life then bring them down to Runner’s High or the Nike Store at the Pike where your old shoes can become new shoes for someone in need, or the rubber recycled into running track.