Knowing when to replace your running shoes is often a hard decision that often is poorly made by most people. This article will help by looking at the shoes features that contribute most to their deterioration and how to select a good running shoe.
Knowing when to replace your running shoes is often a tricky proposition for most people, often leaving the decision to get new shoes too late. Running in shoes that have reached their use by date can cause sporting injuries. Without changing your running shoes these injuries will get progressively worse. The common sporting injuries associated with running are knee pain, lower leg pain (also known as shin splints), and foot/ankle pain. This article will help to demystify running shoes and when they have reached their expiry date. As a leading Gold Coast Physio we often see sports injuries of all types as a result of poor or worn shoe usage.
Multiple factors contribute to running shoes deteriorating. This includes the amount of kilometres the shoe have done, the running surface, a runners weight and to a lesser extent the frequency of your runs, your running speed and your running style. While tracking the amount of kilometres is often regarded as the standard indicator there are too many other variables that will affect the shoes performance. Though as a general rule of thumb a shoes support structures will begin to weaken around 400 – 500 kilometres.
Regularly inspecting your shoes will provide an indicator of their condition. The tread of the shoe is the first part to make contact with the ground so often the first signs of deterioration occur there. Most shoes now come with different colours on the base, and once the superficial colours start to disappear it’s fair to say the tread has begun to wear. If the white mid layer of the sole is visible, the tread has been completely been worn.
The mid-sole and hind-foot is another good indicator of a shoes condition. Looking at the inner mid sole of the shoe, if wrinkles (like skin wrinkles) start appearing this is a sign that the support system has begun to weakened. To test this area further, twist the shoe and also fold the shoe through the mid section. If there is a great amount of movement then this is an indicator of wear in the shoe. A shoe with good support in this area will feel rigid.
Other notable factors of wear and tear in running shoes include tread that may have worn out on either the inside or outside of the shoe. This will create a poor alignment of the foot increasing susceptibility of an injury. Inspecting the sole for firmness is important; a good shoe is easily squashed with your fingers.
While I have detailed what makes a bad shoe, there are key features to look for while purchasing your new running shoes. A good running shoe has a firm mid-foot support which will remain rigid when bent or twisted. Other features include good tread; the insoles have enough support for your arch and a heel support that provides a cushion for impact.
Running is consider an expensive sport, as shoes need replacing on a regular basis, but a rotation system of multiple shoes will enable them to last longer. Following the above guidelines will keep you running strongly and injury free.