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When You Need New Running Shoes

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Tuesday 14 September 2021

3 Signs You Need New Running Shoes

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High mileage

When you buy a new pair of shoes you should take note of the date or even write it on the inside of your shoe so that you can track your mileage in them.

A lot of running apps, like Strava for example, also allow you to track running shoe mileage. Then youll know when you start edging towards the 800km or 500 mile mark and can start looking for a new pair.

If you take good care of your running shoes, then you should be able to push the mileage closer to 1000km or 650 miles if theyre not worn out yet.

Poor shock absorption

The shock absorption of your running shoes gets worse the older they are and the more you run in them. This is because the cushioning and support gets worn down over time.

When its time to replace your shoes, youll find that you feel a lot of impact and compounding in your legs as your feet strike the ground. This is not good for your legs and could cause pain if youre used to running with cushioning.

If you don’t have a perfect foot strike, a worn-out midsole also makes the shoes less stable and ineffective in providing proper support for overpronators or supinators.

If you can bend the toe of your running shoe to the collar of its heel then its time for a new pair. Running shoes should not have that kind of flexibility so it shows that the midsole has been significantly worn down.

You experience aches and pains when running

Worn tread

Uneven wear

Pay Attention To The Activity

Running shoes are divided into various types or categories depending on the structure of the shoes, their design, and the nature of the activity. The primary function of the shoes determines whether you need lightweight running shoes, some flexible kicks, or something a bit more sturdy and supportive. Based on activity, the category of running shoes are:

Road Running Shoes: This type of running shoe is best for joggers or people who enjoy jogging on pavements, treadmills, tracks, and roads. These shoes are light, flexible, and designed to be bendable for making turns easily. Due to the terrain, road running shoes have smoother soles.

Trail Running Shoes: These shoes are meant to handle rough or uneven terrain. They are built to protect your feet against rocks, roots, and everything else that can be found in uneven terrain. Trail running shoes are usually sturdy and have more grip to prevent slipping. The soles are also reinforced to protect your feet from getting injured by the stones, pebbles, and sharp objects lying around.

Lightweight Running Shoes: These shoes focus on enhancing speed and are good for sprints, and running short to middle distance races. They are also good for several activities where speed is required. Since the goal is to enhance speed, these shoes are light and flexible for easy movement.

Cross-training shoes: This type of running shoe is good for workouts or activities that require more balance than speed.

Know When Its Time To Move On

Shoes should be replaced, on average, after every 350 miles run, running experts say. But runners wear through their shoes much differently based on their routines trail runners may wear through shoes differently than a former college linebacker. You can safely assume that if you continue running, you will need to invest in new pairs of shoes pretty regularly.

Take note of what you like and you dont like considering cushioning, stability and the weight of the shoe. Then make sure to mentally note how supportive your shoes feel as the miles and minutes tick on.

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Youve Logged Too Many Miles On Them

Most shoe manufacturers suggest 300 to 400 miles for any given pair of trainers. While we can assume they shoot on the lower end of the spectrum , shoes are generally good for 350 to 500 miles. Each step in your shoe will compress the foam in the midsole and, after enough miles, the foam starts to decompress less and less to the point where its not supporting you as much as it did. Shoes become less effective at absorbing impact and leave you more prone to stress and impact injuries.

The 350 to 500 mile range is admittedly pretty broad some certainly stand the test of time a bit better than others. I suggest thinking about getting a new shoe to rotate in with at 250 to 300 miles so you dont end up in a dead or dying shoe for over 100 miles.

How Many Miles Are Running Shoes Good For

7 New, High

Your running shoe mileage and these other signs of wear will help you know when its time to replace your old running shoes.

Who doesnt love the moment you open up a new pair of running shoes and see clean, new kicks wrapped in tissue paper and brimming with potential? A fresh pair of running shoes can inspire you to set new goals, crush your old PR, or increase your mileage.

But the novelty wears off over time and eventually youll need to replace them. Running shoe mileage is one way to determine how long your shoes will last. But there are other factors to consider when determining when to replace your running shoes.

How Many Miles Should Running Shoes Last?

There is no set rule when it comes to replacing your running shoes. An October 2011 review of 18 years worth of research published in Footwear Science suggests that high-quality running shoes can last for more than 600 miles.

But experts generally advise that you get new running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Thats a pretty big range. Whats more, training volume varies substantially from one runner to the next, and you probably dont put a pedometer on your running shoes. So, how do you know when its time to go shopping again?

Heres a general guide to give you an idea of how long your running shoes may last based on different training volumes.

Casual Runner

  • Weekly mileage: Up to 10 miles
  • Replace shoes: Every 7.5 to 12.5 months

Training for a 5K or 10K

Training for a Half Marathon

Training for a Marathon

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What Is The Best Brand Of Running Shoes

If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me this question! There are many different running shoe brands and options available and I know it can be overwhelming – Nike, New Balance, Saucony, Asics, Brooks, HOKA, Under Armour, Adidas, and minimalist running shoes like Merrell.

First I will say, I dont generally recommend minimalist running shoes to people I coach. Some people do well with them but for beginners and for most of us who run on a lot of pavement, I do not advise them due to the lack of cushioning. It is a process to slowly allow your body to adjust to minimalist shoes and the evidence on the benefits of minimalist running shoes is inconclusive.

That said, as with all running shoes, there is no easy answer on the best running shoe brand. We all have different bodies and preferences, so one that feels good for you may not feel good for me. Also, all the major running shoe companies have their own versions of running shoes for stability, trail running shoes, neutral running shoes, and lightweight racing shoes.

So its more important what features you need for running shoes than the brand. If you have no past brand preferences, check out all neutral running shoe options to start, for instance, if you are a neutral runner. I generally have had great experience running with New Balance and Nike shoes, so I stick to those brands.

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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Get Fitted By A Professional To Make Sure The Shoe Is Right For You

When you visit your local running store, the shoe-buying experience should include a knowledgeable staff member helping to determine which pair is best for you based on a variety of features: from measuring your foot size and arch height to doing a gait analysis.

The alignment of the customer has a lot to do with how durable that shoe is going to be for them, Weich explains. For instance, the durability of a neutral shoe is going to be greatly affected if the wearer overpronatestheyre going to wear down the big toe or the arch side of the shoe much more quickly.

The Mileage Is Adding Up

Do You Need New Run Shoes? | When To Replace Your Running Shoes

A shoes durability depends on factors like your style of running and weight.

However, 300 to 500 miles is a good rule of thumb for how long your sneakers will last, says Wood. For instance, if you run 80 miles a month, then you should reinvest in a new pair between four and six months.

Keep track of your mileage by entering the date you bought your pair in a training log or by using a Sharpie to write the date on your shoe.


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Scandinavian researchers found that runners who switched between models of shoes had a 39 percent lower risk of injuries compared to people who ran in the same shoe during a 22-week period. The researchers believe your leg muscles are worked a little bit differently in each pair, so you dont overstress certain tissues as much as you would if you were only using one pair.

Sure, paying for two pairs will cost you more up front, but its a small price to pay for decreasing your risk of getting hurt and extending the life of your shoes.

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The Importance Of Breaking In New Shoes

Even if they are the shoes you always run in, give them time to break in.


I did a long run this past Friday in a new pair of shoes. I have been running in this same shoe but just got a new pair. I felt fine during and after the run but was late to get home so I didn’t stretch and just jumped in the car. On the way home I wanted to stretch my calves a bit so while driving I was flexing my ankle and holding it for a few seconds and repeated that a number of times. When I got out of the car my shin felt tight. Then, we flew out to Arizona on Saturday and it was still feeling tight. I noticed on Sunday that my ankle and lower 1/3 of the leg was swollen and there is a red area on the front of the shin.

It doesn’t feel like shin splints just the shin and tendons that run from the shin to the top of the foot are tight and painful. I tried running and it seemed to loosen up a bit during the run but afterwards it was super tight again. Any ideas what stupid thing I might have done or suggestions to get rid of it?



Dear Riva-

Lesson learned!! Even when we purchase the very same shoe, we still need a “break in” period for them. Ideally, the shoe is exactly the same, but, in reality, every pair can be slightly different, so proceed with caution. Keep the first 3 or 4 runs in any new shoes, even when they are the very same model, to less than 6 miles. One option is to return to your car during the run and change out shoes when you have a longer run on the schedule.

How To Choose The Right Running Shoes For Long Life

Now that we have covered some easy ways to tell when to replace your running shoes, as well as some tips on how to extend its life, we can run through the steps in purchasing another long-lasting, pair of running shoes a pair that matches your level of activity, style and preferences.

  • Determine the type of training you do, and your running style. This will help narrow down your options over hundreds of shoes on the market.
  • Select the right classification of shoes and weigh the pros and cons of features. Doing a little research on your chosen pair will help tremendously in the long run.
  • Check if the shoes suit your needs. Do not buy running shoes only for aesthetic purposes, although it would not hurt to consider this factor too. Fortunately, most running shoes sold on the market today are fashionable and stylish.
  • Choose the right size for your feet. That means getting fitted properly. Another tip? Try on shoes in the afternoon, a time of day when your feet are often a little swollen, as they would be at the end of a run. As much as possible, try the shoes on and do a few test runs or walk short distances inside the store. If the store has a treadmill, take your shoes for a trial mile. In this way, you will instantly get a feel for their comfort. Buy the ones that feels the best on your feet.
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    Final Thoughts On Insoles For Running Shoes:

    I hope this post has helped you understand what the benefits of insoles for running shoes are, and also helped you understand that not every runner necessarily NEEDS them. As mentioned above, if you they feel good on your feet, and you have the extra money to spare? It certainly cant hurt to give them a try. But understand that insoles are simply another tool in a runners toolbox. They are not a substitute for proper training, or if you are experiencing pain, a substitute for a diagnosis and plan of action from a medical professional.

    You Have Black Toenails


    Black toenails happen when the tip of the nail bed repeatedly interacts with the front wall or top of the shoe. That repeated impact causes bruising, which leads to blistering and the nail lifting off the bed and thats when you see that ugly purple color underneath.

    However, if youre running a marathon or an ultramarathon, you can still get black toenails even when youre running in the right shoe.

    So, it could be a sizing problem, but with longer distances, thats just how it goes, particularly if youre running downhill quite a bit.

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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.

    Running Shoes: How What & When ~ Guest Blog By Dr Kimberly Davis

    DR. KIMBERLY DAVIS from RUNLAB give us some insight into Running Shoes: How, What & When



    I am a huge fan of this concept. Not only does it allow your shoes time between runs for the foam to bounce back, but different types of shoes give you different feedback from the ground, and in my opinion, this is always a good thing from a neuromuscular standpoint. Your body adapts very quickly to a learned stimulus. By giving it different signals you are forcing it to constantly respond to outside stimuli instead of just going through the motions with learned patterns. I personally rotate through several shoes depending on the type of run and how fatigued my body is, and I find it works very well for keeping my body engaged with what is going on between my foot and the ground. If you would like some guidance on this please feel free to call us or stop by and chat. Everyone that works at RunLab is a dedicated runner and we love talking shop!



    For more information about the RunLab team, please visit WWW.RUNLABAUSTIN.COM For gait evaluation services outside the Austin area, please visit WWW.RUNLAB.US

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