When it comes to clothing, as difficult as it may be, there comes a time when we need to say goodbye and part with certain items after a while. The same goes with running shoes, and this choice has more to do with your safety than purely cosmetic reasons. But you may be asking yourself: just when exactly is that time to replace your running shoes, and we are here to help you answer that question.
Running in old or worn-out shoes is a common cause of running injuries, and should be avoided at all costs. Over time, running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability. When you continue to run in worn-out shoes for a long time, it increases the stress and impact on joints throughout your lower leg, especially the knees and ankles.
If you’ve been experiencing muscle fatigue, shin splints or pain in your joints—especially your knees—there’s a chance that it may be due to running in shoes that no longer have enough cushioning. The best thing you can do to prevent these types of injuries is replace your running shoes when they’re worn out. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when determining if it’s time to ditch your old pair for a new one:
- Don’t use the treads on your shoes to determine when they should be replaced; the midsole—which provides the cushioning and stability of the shoe—usually breaks down before the bottoms shows any major signs of wear, so use that instead
- A good rule of thumb is to replace your running shoes every 300-400 miles that you run; however, this will vary depending on your running style, body weight and surface that you primarily run on
- Smaller runners are usually safe getting a new pair on the upper end of that range, so they should aim to replace shoes around 400 miles
- Heavier runners should consider replacing shoes closer to 300 miles
- If you run on roads and other rough surfaces, you’ll need to replace your running shoes sooner than if you run primarily on a treadmill
- Mark your calendar when you buy a new pair of running shoes and try to keep a training log of the amount of miles you run, so you’ll know when it’s time to replace them
- You can also consider buying a new pair of shoes about halfway through the lifespan of a pair and then rotating between the two so they both last longer
Running injuries are common and difficult to avoid entirely, but wearing a pair of running shoes that provides sufficient support and stability is one step you can take to reduce this risk. Keep track of when it’s time to replace your shoes and be sure you’re purchasing the right type for your size and running habits. For any pain you may be experiencing from running or any other physical activities, our Cleveland Physical Therapists in Kings Mountain and Shelby, NC, where we have two convenient locations, can help. Contact us at 704-471-0001 for more information or to schedule an appointment.