Unexplained Foot Or Knee Pain
Sometimes, the first sign that its time to change out your running shoes is that you develop foot, ankle, or knee pain for no evident reason.
If you havent made any major changes to your training, looking at your shoes is a good place to start.
Consider that your shoes may be worn or aged in subtle ways that are affecting your running gait.
It may not be obvious at first, but take the time to go to a running store and compare your shoes to a new pair of the same model check for deterioration of the support, or wear on the sole.
What Are The Best Insoles For Running Shoes
Now that you know what your shoe wear patterns are telling you, it’s time to add insoles to your running shoes to improve your alignment and efficiency. The best insoles for running shoes will provide the extra structure and support your feet need to handle the shock of running on concrete, asphalt or uneven trails.
When you’re comparing running shoe insoles, you want to find ones that:
- Fit Properly: Guarantee strong support and great comfort with a perfect fit. Look for insoles that come in multiple arch heights so you can find one that closely matches the contours of your feet.
- Have Firm Support: Road running in particular is hard and fast, so running insoles need to be durable and hold their shape. The structure of your insoles should be firm enough to take the abuse that high-mile runners dish out. Insoles that have minimal structure or are 100% foam just don’t have the strength to support proper foot alignment.
- Maintain Proper Biomechanics. Running shoe insoles need to correct your foot’s biomechanical irregularities. Firm support controls overpronation and helps relieve and prevent common running injuries like plantar fasciitis.
As you start shopping, you’ll need to determine your arch height. That will make sure you end up with insoles that fit your feet well. When you make your choice, remove the factory insert from your running shoes, add your running insoles, and gradually increase the amount of time you wear them each day.
How Many Miles Can You Run In Your Running Shoes
Did you know that running in old and worn out shoes can contribute to a variety of foot ailments and other problems such as knee, back and hip pain? Over time the treads of your running shoes start to wear down, the interior materials start to break down and your shoes eventually lose their cushioning, stability and shock absorption abilities.
Continuing to run in running shoes that are past their prime can lead to overuse injuries along with increased stress and impact on your joints, muscles and bones. That may have you wondering: how many miles can you get out of each pair of running shoes?
This is a common question among runners – knowing exactly how many miles you can run before your running shoes need to be replaced. The answer is not that straightforward. The actual recommended distance can range from a low of 250 miles to upwards of 500 miles as it all depends on a number of factors.
Noticeable wear patterns are a sure sign it is time to replace your running shoes.
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Runners Guide: Do You Need Running Shoe Inserts
- 4 min read
Running is one of the oldest and most common forms of exercise out there. But these days, we run a little differently from our ancestors, and running shoe inserts are a key example.
Regardless of where you stand on the great insole debate, it’s a huge industry — estimated to be worth $3.5 billion by 2020.
What are insoles, and do you need them? Keep reading to find out.
How Your Running Type Affects Your Shoes
Your specific running type and running gait are two factors affecting the number of miles you can get out of your shoes. For example, if you land with a heavier footstep you will have to replace your running shoes more often than a runner who lands with a lighter, softer footstep.
And your running gait has a direct effect on the specific wear pattern of your running shoes. If you are a supinator, your feet have a tendency to roll to the outside when you run so you will typically see more wear on the outside edges of your shoes. If you are a pronator, your feet have a tendency to roll to the inside when you run so you will typically see more wear on the inside portions of your shoes.
Then there are heavy heel strikers versus sprinters who run more on their toes and, if you follow either the Pose Method or Chi Method of Running, you will typically see higher wear in the mid-foot area of your running shoes.
Did you know that your specific running gait is another factor that can affect the wear pattern of your running shoes?
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Determining Your Foot Type
Take a look at the bottom of your running shoe. The wear on your shoe will likely reveal your foot type.
- If your shoe shows even wear, you have a neutral arch and are a normal pronator.
- If the inner soles of your shoes are usually worn down, you are an overpronator and probably have a low arch.
- If your shoe wear shows excessive wear on the outer soles, you are an underpronator and probably have a high arch.
How To Know When You Need New Running Shoes
If you ask the experts, they’ll say most of the signs that you need new sneakers are obvious they have visible tears, don’t stay tied even with replacement laces, and so on. Other indicators become more apparent while actually using the shoes. For instance, if you feel like you have no traction, little-to-no support in your arches, or no shock absorption when you walk or run on paved surfaces, those shoes are no longer fit to be your kicks!
Another factor that can indicate when you’re due for new shoes is how often you wear your current pair, especially if they’re your only pair. Aiming to exercise for those recommended 150 minutes a week is important, but that can be a lot of extra pressure on the shoes you wear day in and day out!
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The Importance Of Rotating Your Running Shoes
Hard core runners often have multiple pairs and styles of running shoes including racing flats, trainers, long distance shoes and trail runners. Another great reason to have more than one pair of running shoes is that rotating your shoes gives them a chance to air out, dry out and rebound between workouts.
This last point is extremely important and you should always have at least two pairs of running shoes at any given time. Midsole cushioning materials and memory foam inserts can take as long as 24 hours to fully recover after a run. If you have two or more pairs of running shoes in your athletic shoe stash at all times, this means you can rotate between shoes and let one pair dry out and recover while you are wearing a second pair.
Your Running Shoes Lack Fit And Feel
Maybe youre reading this and thinking Duh! Who picks running shoes based on color?
Okay so youre not one of those people. Perhaps you are one of the people who put a fair amount of time and energy into finding the best possible running shoes, doing your research meticulously and trying on and out several pairs.
Despite all that hard work, you may still find yourself face to face with the fact that your awesome running shoes just dont feel right.
Even if your shoes are still in good shape and its not that long ago since you bought them, you may want to consider replacing them if:
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When To Replace Running Shoes Know The Signs Of Shoe Death
Originally published March 8, 2018 11:25 am, updated February 10, 2020
Finding the perfect running shoe can be a tough endeavour with hours of background research, consulting experts and trying on and trying out several pairs. So, when you finally do find the best running shoes for you, you want to hold on to them, right?
But, even if they feel irreplaceable and as valuable as diamonds, running shoes are not forever. Even the best of the best can only take so much, but how do you know when its time to replace your running shoes?
, an ultramarathoner and co-leader of November Project in New York City, has spent nearly 15 years working in the run specialty industry, fitting thousands of runners for their first or fiftieth pair of shoes. Heres her insight on when to replace running shoes.
How Many Miles Do Running Shoes Last
Tire companies recommend replacing many popular tires around 60,000 miles, and some engine oil should be swapped when youve driven 5,000 miles. Like tires and oil, running shoes have a lifespan that you should look out for when you’re training.
If you keep track of the miles you run in each pair, most high-quality running shoes should last between 300 and 500 milesabout four to six months for someone who runs 20 miles per weekthough that number is lower for race-day shoes, which are designed to be lighter and faster.
Top running shoe brands recommend those intervals based on when the materials start to deteriorate, even if the signs arent easily visible. But even when your shoes are toast, they’re not totally useless: You can use them to do yard work or find ways to recycle your old shoes.
So, if your sneakers are creeping up in miles, it might be time to shop for the best running shoes.
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Here Are Additional Factors That Affect When To Replace Your Running Shoes:
- Minimalist shoes have less cushioning, so expect them to be done around 300 miles.
- Traditional running shoes and maximum cushioning shoes tend to last until around the 500-mile mark.
- Heavier people will get fewer miles than lighter people, regardless of shoe type.
- If you wear your running shoes casually, those miles also count toward the total.
- Dirt on your shoes is no big deal, but if you see significant wear and tear, it may be time to retire your shoes. Keep an eye out for heel damage, worn soles and rips and tears.
- If you notice new discomfort in your feet, legs, knees, hips or back after running, it may be time for a new pair of shoes. The same is true if youre getting blisters or feeling hot spots where you never used to.
Zappos Mapmyfitness Will Tell You When You Need New Running Shoes
The fitness tracking app’s community of runners can now track the wear of their most important gear — their shoes — and buy new ones directly from the online retailer within the app.
Zappos and training app MapMyFitness are teaming up to ensure runners are never logging miles on worn-out shoes.
The two companies on Thursday announced a new feature called Gear Tracker in the MapMyFitness app for Apple iOS users. The feature lets users estimate when their shoes are too worn to run in and then gives them the option of buying a new pair of shoes directly from the fitness tracking app. The companies expect to bring the same feature to Google’s Android before the end of the year.
For Zappos, Gear Tracker allows the Amazon-owned e-tailer to tap into MapMyFitness’s nearly 28 million users, half of which are avid runners. MapMyFitness, meanwhile, gets to add a feature often requested by its users. Avid runners are often warned about worn-out shoes leading to injuries or a poor running experience.
Zappos’ head of mobile, Aki Iida, said the idea was to experiment with new ways to utilize the technology of the rapidly growing selection of fitness tracking wearables, like FitBit, and smartphone fitness apps, like MapMyFitness. The fitness apps category is picking up speed, according to app analytics company Flurry, which found that the use of fitness apps grew by 62 percent in the first half of this year, outpacing the growth of the app industry in general.
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What Does A Medial Wear Pattern On Running Shoes Mean
Medial wear on the bottom of your running shoe is caused by overpronation. Overpronation occurs when your foots natural inward cushioning roll is exaggerated, which can lead to:
- Foot, ankle, knee, and hip-related running injuries
- Arch collapse
If you’re training for a marathon or aiming for a PR 5k, overpronation can definitely get in your way. Experts agree that a runner who overpronates should be wearing motion control shoes.
Motion control running shoes help guide the foot and correct weight transfer. PodiatryToday says “a motion control running shoe differs from a neutral shoe in having the following features: a heel drop of over 10mm, a lateral heel or sole flare, a thermoplastic midfoot shank, and a dual-density midsole.” They also have harder midsoles than neutral shoes.
For runners who overpronate, the combination of motion control running shoes and firm arch support can be a game changer. The support that insoles provide control pronation while improving your body alignment and bio-mechanics.
Find Your New Running Shoes Today
When it is time to replace your old and worn out sneakers, or look for your next pair of athletic shoes, visit any of our stores or our e-commerce website. We offer FREE Aetrex foot scans at all five of our retails stores to help you dial in the fit and find your perfect pair of running shoes.
Your Sales Associate will go over the results of your foot scan and make recommendations for insoles and orthotics to help solve common foot ailments such as Metatarsalgia, Plantar Fasciitis and more. Stop by Family Footwear Center today!
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What To Look For
The first few times you wear a pair of running shoes, its common to notice hotspots or blisters on your feet. Theyll go away as your feet toughen up, assuming youre wearing the right size, and have coughed up a few bucks for proper running socks. But if that same pair of shoes is giving you blisters or other, inexplicable aches and pains half a year later, its likely that the cushioning on your shoe is completely worn down. Its essentially a new shoe, and one that isnt equipped to soften the blow of repeated thwacks against the pavement.
Practice inspecting your shoes for signs of wear. First, and most obviously, are there are any tears or holes in the toe box? In the back, is the heel still sturdy, or has it collapsed inward? How about the outsole? Has its rubber traction system faded away? For that final question, take advantage of whatever design the shoe manufacturer used for the outsole usually a mix of contrasting colored-lines. If theyre almost indiscernible , youve got your answer. One last eye-test: place your shoes on the ground and look at them from the back. Are they symmetrical? Does one appear to be shaved a bit on its side?
Signs Youre Wearing The Wrong Shoes For Running
When it comes to a healthy running routine, using the right type of shoes is as essential as the activity itself. However, picking the right pair can be easier said than done. Wearing the wrong shoes for running can result in needless pain and injuries. It is essential to choose the right kind to avoid injuries to the feet and ankles. Additionally, the right type of shoes for running could make your run more comfortable.
If you really want to ease stubborn foot and ankle pain, get our free ankle pain guide below
There are different varieties of running shoes from ones with inbuilt shock absorbers for serious joggers to lightweight shoes for walkers.
The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society recommends runners and athletes wear the right footwear to avoid injuries as wearing the wrong type of shoes for running is a common cause of feet and ankle problems.
How will you know youre wearing the right shoes for running? If you are, you wont be experiencing the following during or after a run:
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What Does Neutral Mean
Good question. In the past, running brands tended to divide their shoes into two different categories: neutral and stability’. This was related to whether or not your foot rolled in too far over your ankle as your foot hit the ground . Stability shoes traditionally had a hard, medial post that ran along the inside arch of the shoe. These days, a lot of running brands are moving away from these categories and support has got a lot smarter, but running shoes will still fall into one of these two categories.
A neutral shoe is often one that is flexible and cushioned, suited to runners who dont especially overpronate when they run. If you have medium to high arches, youll normally find a neutral shoe is more comfortable. But again, the best way to know for sure is to have your gait analyzed.
There are also plenty of insoles on the market that promise to correct overpronation. But alongside this is a large body of recent research that suggests strengthening the foot and leg muscles is more effective in the long run , so its a good idea to seek professional advice before buying.