It’s no secret that runners get attached to their shoes. These footy companions have traveled with you on the open road as you work to complete milestones and personal running goals. Even though your running shoes may have been a trusty cohort in your exercise routines, all good things must come to an end. How do you know, though, when it is time to retire your running shoes? Carefully consider the wear and tear and your body’s reaction to determine if it is time to let go.
Listen to Your Body
You know your body well – from the start of a sore muscle to a pain in your toes. When your running shoes are nearing the end of their lifespan, listen to your body. A running shoe needs to support and protect your foot first, thus protecting the rest of your body from harm. Aches and pains will begin to plague your ankles, legs and hamstrings once the midsole of the shoe weakens. If you are experiencing discomfort such as achy knees, sore shins or tender arches after a few months of running, it may be time to trade in your sneakers for a new pair.
Know the Numbers
Since every runner is different, it’s challenging to compare the lifespan of your running shoes to another runner. Your running style and training load help determine how quickly you will wear down a pair of sneakers. Most high-quality running shoes, though, should last between 400 and 600 miles. The best way to know the rate at which you will wear down your running shoes is to log your mileage every time you buy a new pair of shoes. Once the mileage peaks at 400 miles, take notice of any additional body aches and the wear and tear of the sole of your shoes.
Inspect the Shoe
If you suspect it’s time to retire your running shoes, an old-fashioned inspection may help verify your suspicions. Begin by inspecting the outer area of the shoe to ensure the outsole of your shoe still has tread. If it is smooth, similar to a bald tire, your running shoes have seen better days. Inspect the interior of the shoe by putting your hand in the shoe and pressing down on the sole with your other hand. If the shoe is thinning and you can feel your fingers pressing through, it’s likely the sole is worn or the cushioning lacks the support you need.
Consider Your Routes
Runners have a variety of preferences when it comes to routes. The route you take can impact the lifespan of your shoes. For instance, if you prefer outdoor trails and dirt roads, the cushioning may last a bit longer versus a constant route on pavement. Running on indoor treadmills may produce less wear and tear over time due to the cushioning of the belt, thus increasing the length of time you can hang on to your faithful sneakers. To determine the typical lifespan of your shoes, keep a log of your routes so you can note how the terrain affects the condition of your running companions.