Sometimes it can be difficult to make the choice to replace a pair of running shoes. This is especially true if they still look like they are in good condition. Replacing a beat-up looking pair of shoes may seem like an easy decision, but how do you determine when it’s time to replace your existing pair of running shoes?
Factors To Consider:
Although there are general mileage numbers thrown around, it’s important to consider multiple factors when it comes to retiring your running shoes:
The first port of call would be the mileage that you have accumulated on your running shoes. A general guide figure for daily trainers is typically quoted at 600 miles. Racing flats tend to have a guide upper limit of 250 miles. Obviously, these figures are arbitrary and depend on a lot of other factors. Try to keep track of the mileage that you put on each pair of running shoes, but also use your feeling when it comes to retiring them.
Wear and Tear
Do your running shoes look a bit beat up? Are there any holes in the upper material? Are the lugs on the sole completely worn? Different shoes will wear at different rates. Your weight and running style will also affect how quickly your shoes show wear and tear. Heel strikers may notice the tread of the heel starting to tear, or the cushioning at the back of the shoe. Sometimes the upper may show more wear than the outsole and can be prone to ripping.
This is probably one of the biggest things to consider. How do your shoes feel? Do they feel less responsive than usual? The midsole might feel “mushier” beneath your foot and require more force to push off the ground. They will tend to feel less “springy”. Do your shoes feel less cushioned? The midsole may feel flat, hard or lumpy. You might also notice that the ground feels harder beneath your feet.
Are your legs or feet feeling more tired than usual? If you are covering the same number of miles on your runs, and at the same intensity, then fatigue may be a sign of needing to replace your running shoes. This feeling is often due to the shoes losing their cushioning and shock absorption. In turn, this means that your leg muscles have to work a little harder with each foot strike.
Are you getting niggles or feeling discomfort? Discomfort during your run can be a sign that your shoes need replacing. If you notice that you are getting pain in the same area after each run, then it may also be down to your running shoes.
Worn in shoes may also start to cause blisters if the upper material has molded to your foot shape. An upper that is too tight can cause friction and blisters. A shoe that has become too loose can also cause the shoe to move and rub.
Although it’s recommended to keep track of your shoe’s mileage, it’s important to remember that the 500-600 mile number is just a guideline. Certain types of shoes will wear down much quicker than others. Heavier or less efficient runners will wear out running shoes faster than elite runners. All in all, it’s down to you when you replace your running shoes, but shoes that are past their best will feel noticeably different to run in.