Buying running shoes seems to get more and more expensive every time you do so; the brand of shoe you’re used to have come up with some ‘super light weight cushioned sole’ that they will bet their graves that every runner needs and should never be without ever again. Well, that’s great, maybe a new sole will help you’re running, but it is most likely a ploy for the company to raise the price of the shoe.
A lot of runners – novice or experienced – can buy a pair of running shoes and be very optimistic as to the longevity of them, wearing them for years, reluctant to buy a new pair until the old pair have ripped to pieces. I get it, as a runner, when you find a pair of running shoes that feel great you never want to take them off, but you do run into a lot of risks.
As you use your running shoes more and more, they slowly break down, caused by the friction of the foot in your shoe and the constant impact with different terrains. The cushioning is usually the first to become less effective, as the constant compression from impact can cause it to wear out. The big danger is when you have a poor gait and require supported shoes – as the shoe starts to wear out, so does the support, causing it to lose its effectiveness of correcting your gait and giving arise to injury problems. In short, the more you use your shoe, the more it will break down and lose it’s shape and support.
Usually, each pair of running shoe’s should last about 500 miles worth of running. This figure can seem pretty crazy, because if you are running 50 miles a week you need to change your shoes every 10 weeks, leaving a lot of runners to think this is too often and very expensive – which it can be. However, you do need to change your shoes at least every 500 miles or you will experience niggles which can turn into serious injury problems.
There are a few key signs that you need to change your shoes: the upper mesh of the shoe starts to rip on the outside of your foot, the inside of the shoe starts to rip at the heel and the grip underneath the shoe has eroded away. However, in personal experience, whenever my shoe starts to give me blisters or the impact feels solid with every stride instead of cushioned, that is when I know I need to change my shoes.
My best advice is to find the shoe that works well for you, and buy a few pairs on a cheap website such as sportshoes, this way you will be able to comfortably change your shoes every 500 miles and you won’t get tricked into buying a shoe with ‘breakthrough technology’ when you go to a running store.