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Signs It’s Time For Changing Your Running Shoes

Signs It’s Time For Changing Your Running Shoes
Signs It's Time For Changing Your Running Shoes

Changing Your Running Shoes

When deciding if you need to be changing your running shoes there are a few things to consider:

  • Changing your running shoes should be guided by the mileage done in your shoes.
  • Based on signs of wear and tear of the shoe.
  • As well as the actual shoes age.

The Main Components Of A Running Shoe To Break Down

A few of the main parts of a running shoe that will break down or show signs of breaking down indicating a need to replace the shoe are the:

  • Outsole
  • Midsole
  • Heel counter

The Impact Of A Worn Outsole

When referring to a shoe what I am calling the outsole is surface of the sole of the shoe that is in contact with the road. This outsole is typically made of a carbon rubber and is resistant to abrasion and may be slightly different at different parts of the shoe relative to where the majority of stress occurs. Meaning in certain areas the material may be required to be tougher or thicker to be resilient enough to withstand the extra forces exerted on that part of the running shoe.

Once areas of the outsole have worn through to the midsole there could be around a 4mm difference in height from the worn area relative to the intact areas of outsole. The way we run tends to mean that the outside of the shoe will usually wear out the quickest. A shoe worn out in this outside heel area of the outsole may collapse as your heel makes contact with the ground putting strain on the outside of the foot and ankle and may end up creating more rolling movement of your foot during running. As a result, this extra strain and movement caused from a worn outsole can increase your risk of sustaining an overuse running injury.

The Impact Of A Worn Midsole

Whilst the most visible wear and tear to a shoe generally occurs to the outsole or the actual upper fabric of the shoe, the wear that most affects the biomechanics of the running shoe and therefore the part of the shoe that is most likely to have an effect on injury is at the midsole. The midsole as you can imagine is the layer between the outsole mentioned earlier and the upper of the shoe. This midsole layer provides cushioning and stability and can frequently wear out before the outsole actually shows any major signs of wear. When the midsole wears out the running shoe looses some of its functional stability. When the midsole wears out it is the loss of cushioning and stability that leads to increased stress on the body and the increased risk of injury.

The Impact Of A Worn Heel Counter

The heel counter is the back of the shoe. This aspect of your running shoe ensures your heel remains firmly fixed to the sole of the shoe helping keep your foot in place whilst you run. As your running shoes wear out the heel counter will weaken allowing unnecessary movement of the rear foot in your shoe again this extra movement within the shoe can potentially lead to injury.

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 Signs It’s Time For Changing Your Running Shoes 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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