How to Tell You Need New Running Shoes
Running and walking are great activities for many reasons, chiefly because they require little equipment. You don’t need a court, a specific uniform, or much equipment to participate. You do need to be sure you are keeping up with your shoe wear, however, and replacing your running and walking shoes periodically. Worn out shoes can lead to discomfort and injury as the shock absorbency and protection breaks down over time.
According to Anne Stancil, owner of Fleet Feet Tucson, there are several tell-tale signs that you should invest in a new pair of running shoes.
How do I know?
One of the most important indications that you need new shoes is if you have unusual pain, particularly in your feet, shins and knees. Stancil explains, “the cushioning materials manufactures use breaks down over time, which leaves your body to bear the brunt of running’s impact.” If discomfort seems to come out of nowhere, check your shoe wear. “Sometimes you’ve been running comfortably for months, and one day your feet or legs hurt for no apparent reason,” says Stancil. “It’s probably time for new shoes.”
Read the Signs
How can you be sure? Becoming familiar with a few signs of wear can make it easy to identify when it’s time to replace your shoes. “A simple test you can do is to bend the front of the shoe. If it easily flexes, particularly in one spot, you will likely benefit from a fresh pair.” Do this test on a new pair of shoes for a point of reference. Once you know how a fresh pair feels, it’s easy to identify shoe wear. “Take a close look at them, too,” Stancil advises. “Dirty running shoes are one thing, but if the material is beginning to tear or the treads are worn down or gone, replace them.”
Keeping track of your running and walking mileage is a great way to anticipate when you will need a new pair. “When it comes to running, we think of wear in terms of ‘mileage’ rather than time,” says Stancil. “Most shoes last about 300-400 miles,” she explains. “Of course, how often you use your shoes will impact the time it takes to reach this number.” Most people need to replace after about 6 months of consistent.
How long your shoes last also depends on the type of running shoes you wear. “Generally, lighter and softer shoes will wear out more quickly,” said Stancil. Consider buying a second pair of running shoes to reduce the wear and tear on either pair. “Storing shoes in advance of later wear is not recommended, however,” says Stancil. “The shoes’ materials can break down simply sitting in your closet.” It’s best to use them within a month or so of purchase, especially in Arizona’s dry climate.
Once you’re ready for a new pair, a shoe professional can make sure you’re buying the right type of shoes. Fleet Feet offers a personal fitting service, called FitID, which takes a 3D scan of your feet, and provides measurements and information so you can pick the best footwear. Today there are many options to choose from including new lighter materials, and ‘smart shoes’ equipped with chips that document your running style and habits.
Fleet Feet Tucson has the perfect shoes for running and hiking on trails and for every pair of feet. Step into one of their two locations to try on a pair today. For more information, visit FleetFeetTuscon.com or call (520) 886-7800.
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