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3 Reasons Why Runners Don't Replace Their Running Shoes

Did you know running in worn out shoes can put you at risk of running injuries? But, how do you know when it’s time to replace your running shoes?

Experienced runners know that the rule of thumb for replacing running shoes is after about 300 miles of running. But do most runners adhere to this rule? Based on our experience with injured runners at Sol Foot & Ankle Centers the answer is a definitive “No!”

Why is it that, even with risk of injury runners tend to run in their shoes past their “expiration date”?

Let’s explore and expose the possible reasons why runners don't replace their running often enough. Maybe we can convince a few people to replace their shoes more frequently and, in the process, prevent a few injuries.

Price

We hear runner after runner state that they use their shoes as long as possible because it’s too expensive to replace them. However, isn’t the cost of not replacing them much greater? How much will a doctor visit cost if you get injured? What is the cost to your health if you have to “shut it down” for a few months to recover? As it is, running is one of the least expensive sports/fitness programs in which to participate. All you need is a $100 pair of shoes every few months. Don’t get injured because you’re cheap!

Not keeping track!

Most runners don’t even keep track of how long or how many miles they have on a pair of shoes. They just wake up one day and say, “Hey, I’ve had these shoes for a while now. Maybe I should get a “new pair.” Hopefully, that’s not the same day they start feeling pain! But seriously, it’s not that hard to keep track of your running miles.

Do you keep a running log? Just make a notation on the day you start running in a new pair of shoes. Easier than that- just divide 300 by the number of miles you run each week and you’ll know the number of weeks your shoes should last. Finally, if you really need to be told when you need new shoes, there are now phone apps that will do it for you.

The Shoe Doesn't Look Worn Out

Some people, even experienced runners who should know better, use the “look test” to determine when they need new running shoes. In other words, “if the shoes still look good on the outside they must be working fine.” This could not be further from the truth!

Most of the wear on a running shoe, at least the part that will lead to problems, occurs in the midsole if the shoes. The midsole is gradually compressing with every step and, and as it compresses, it is providing a decreasing amount of protection. And this deterioration of the midsole is not usually visible to the naked eye. So, just because you still have tread on the bottom of your shoe doesn’t mean it’s not worn out.

Go Try On a New Pair! Don’t be the runner who gets injured because of worn out shoes. If you still don’t believe that you need new running shoes just follow Dr. Graves’ favorite running shoe rule: Go try on a new pair! Once you see how much better the new shoes feel on your feet than the old pair, you’ll be convinced!

Read More about preventing common running injuries with our free running book, Run For Your Sol, This is a must have for every runner!

If your having foot and ankle pain call Sol Foot & Ankle Centers at 562-433-0478. We provide comprehensive podiatrist treatment for a wide range of foot and ankle conditions.

 

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Richard H. Graves, DPM
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Podiatrist, Sports Medicine Specialist