How Often Should You Be Replacing Your Running Shoes?
Obviously running shoes have a finite life and generally it is recommended that a pair of running shoes is replaced after approximately 700-1100 kms (or around 350-550 miles for all those Americans amongst us). The exact amount of running mileage a shoe can absorb depends on several factors, including the athletes running style, their body weight, the surface on which they run, as well as the materials the shoe is made out of… As a general rule of thumb, lighter runners can get a bit more mileage out of a shoe than a heavier runner performing the same mileage who is likely to be a little harder wearing on their footwear. Typically the heavier you are the need to be replacing your running shoes will be a relatively more frequent experience.
Don’t Wait Till You Are Experiencing Pain Before Replacing Your Running Shoes
Most runners will not be aware that their shoes are in need of replacing and frequently the first sign that they get may well be their body crying out telling them then need to go out and buy some new shoes. Waiting till you start getting aches or pains can put you at risk of injury and significant interruption to training regimes. I would suggest that even moderately serious runners keep track of their mileage in each pair of shoes they have and as well as this assess your running shoes periodically for any tell tale signs of wear and tear.
What Does The Research Suggest?
The evidence is clear that running shoes do change properties significantly as they accumulate more mileage. Meaning that your running shoes do break down over time associated with the more running you do in them. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your running bio-mechanics change because of it. Your body will try to adjust and adapt to the changing surface underneath be it shoe change as a result of wear and tear of the shoe, or changes in the actual running surface itself. This demand for your body to adapt as the shoe ages and changes in the support and cushioning it offers your body may impact the stress on your body and explain why injuries can occur due to “worn out” thinner and stiffer shoes.
How Does This Apply To Replacing Your Running Shoes?
Research suggests that over time the cushioning of your running shoe deteriorates and the shoe will become stiffer and thinner as a result. Your body adapts to the wearing out of your running shoes and the changes that occur to the shoe as the mileage you do in them increases by altering muscle activation. Your body is ultimately compensating for what the shoe is no longer offering your body and if your body isn’t capable of either making or maintaining these compensatory measures aches, pains and injuries may well be the result. Meaning it is best to preempt the need for your body to make such changes and swap up your shoes before they get too tired and worn.
Remember it is always going to be less expensive and less painful to purchase a new pair of running shoes as it is to deal with the cost of injury (both mentally, physically and financially). The following blog has a few tips for replacing your running shoes and can help you identify signs when it may be time to fork out for a new pair of runners.
Disclaimer: Sydney Physio Clinic does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products mentioned. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific advice or assistance on Replacing Your Running Shoes should consult his or her general practitioner, podiatrist, physiotherapist or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.