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Running Shoe Replacement Tips

Running Shoe Replacement Tips
Running Shoe Replacement Tips

Some Quick Running Shoe Replacement Tips

Worn out shoes can pose an injury risk to the runner so it is important to know when it is time to replace your shoes. Some quick running shoe replacement tips include:

  • Track your mileage: Typically shoes should be replaced after about 700-1100 kms or 350-550 miles which is surprisingly quite frequently when you consider if you are running consistently 30km a week that is only around every 6 months that you should be buying new shoes.
  • Check Your Shoes: It is a good idea to check your shoes regularly for signs of wear, giving particular attention to checking the midsole area of the shoe.
  • Old Unworn Shoes Still Wear Out: Even shoes that aren’t worn with time can wear out. The outsole, midsole and the upper of a shoe can all wear out and be ravaged by the effects of time! This obviously depends on the environment they are kept in, however it is generally considered best practice to replace your running shoes if they are over a year old regardless if they are showing signs of wear or not.

Running Shoes Are Designed For Running Only

Running shoes used for activities other than running will wear them out too (and sometimes wear them out faster). If you wear your running shoes for sports such as tennis, basketball, gym classes… this can accelerate the breaking down of specific areas of the shoe not designed to cope with the stress these activities provide. Running shoes are designed with the idea that running is not a multidirectional activity so the outsole, mid sole and upper are all structured specifically for running not for coping with twisting, turning and stop-start activities.
For example playing tennis in running shoes will quickly wear the outsole as it is exposed to significant abrasion on the court surface. The shoes upper will break down as it is put under more stress through the internal sliding of your foot with-in the shoe with the rapid changing of direction. The dragging of the toe box area on the court with a serve or sliding shot will tear at the light upper not designed to withstand such forces. Again with the changing of direction involved in a tennis match the shoes midsole will be put under stress in areas not designed for such loading and will compress unevenly as a result affecting it’s ability to provided the support or cushioning required of the shoe whilst running.

Spend The Money On Buying Shoes Specific For Your Sport

Obviously it is more expensive to be buying one shoe for running, one for tennis and another pair for the gym and your gym classes but the fact is these shoes are designed differently for a reason, all the main areas of these shoes are designed with set purposes in mind. From using totally different upper materials and stitching, to different outsole materials and gripping patterns to contrasting midsole function and design.
Using your running shoes for activities other than running will most likely cause premature break down to areas of the shoe that will impact the function of the shoe as a running shoe and necessitate the need for you to replace it more frequently or risk injury.
It sounds stupid to say it but you don’t see Roger Federer playing tennis in a pair of Asics Kayano’s or Lebron James playing basketball wearing a pair of Nike Pegasus so why would you try and play tennis in your running shoes.

Quick Checks For Running Shoe Replacement Tips

If you suspect your running shoes need replacing then it is a good idea to take them to the shops so you can compare your shoe to the new version of your shoe. In general a worn out shoe will:

  • Feel “dead” in the cushioning when you compare the feel on your foot to the new shoe feel.
  • Will appear asymmetrical and uneven when looking at the shoe on a flat surface
  • Will bend, twist and squash easier through the mid sole and the heel counter
  • Will visually have noticeable creasing in the mid sole as well as possible visual signs of outsole or upper breaking down.

Try taking your old shoes and comparing them to the new shop shoe you will be surprised by the difference. Replacing you running shoes when necessary maybe costly in the short term, but will help prevent injuries and help in keeping you active in the long run.

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 Running Shoe Replacement Tips should consult his or her general practitioner, podiatrist, physiotherapist or otherwise appropriately skilled practitioner.

Hayden Latimer is the founder of and principle physiotherapist at Sydney Physio Clinic. Since graduating from Otago University, Dunedin, New Zealand he’s gained wide experience practicing across the globe for over 15 years and is now extremely knowledgeable in helping people reduce discomfort and restore function and mobility.


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