They’ve been with you for those chilly dawn training runs and helped you over the finish line for some of your favourite races. But, even good things have to come to an end, and it may be time to trade in your running shoes. Feeling sentimental? Get over it! Running in a worn out pair of shoes increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can cause overuse injuries. Here's how you know that you need new running shoes:
What’s the magic number? Between 480km to 650km depending on your style, how much you weigh and what surface you run on. For most regulars it’s about four to six months. The heavier you are the sooner you’ll need to replace your running shoes. Rough roads and trail running also shorten the lifespan of your shoes. Check the soles to see if they are worn down. Any signs of wear and you know what you gotta do… Another quick way to diagnose the situation is to try on a new pair of running shoes. It’s amazing what you get used to. If the new shoes feel a lot more comfy than your old pair it’s another signal your old chaps have seen better days.
Shin splints, joint pain and knee aches happen – but your first possible culprit to investigate as the cause is your running shoes. If the cushioning is kaput, you may experience knee pain on both legs as an early warning sign. A worn-out shoe will offer less support too – twist the shoe as a test. It should be firm. If it twists easily it’s a sign it’s time to hit the shops!
Place the shoe on the ground and observe it from behind. If it’s looking wonky it may be an indication that the structure of the midsole foam is compromised. This is bad news. It means the midsole can no longer absorb the force of impact. Your knees and shins are going to get the brunt of it. You should also compare shoes. If one is worn more than the other you not only need to replace them, but see a podiatrist to check out your gait to ensure it doesn’t happen again.