You may have watched my video on how long do running shoes last, and you're thinking yourself, are there any kind of hacks or tips or tricks or anything I can do to make my running shoes actually last longer? Well, I'm Jesse Funk on today's episode of Runner's High, I'm going to give you my top four tips on making your running shoes last as long as possible.
So, let's get right into it. What's my first tip? My first tip is actually going to be let your shoes rest. And this is a big deal if you're just running. If you're doing triathlon then it is easier to let your shoes rest because often, you're switching sports between days, and you're not using your shoes every day. But if you are only running and you're running multiple times a week, sometimes you know 5, 6, 7 days a week and you only have one pair of shoes, then you have no opportunity to let your shoes rest.
The big thing here is that in the midsole of your shoe, that's the middle of your shoe right here, just taking my shoes off, it gets compressed when you go run. And that's the cushioning basically, that's what you're relying on underneath your foot to absorb some impact when you're running.
Well, if you were using that shoe day after day after day, it has no time to bounce back. You compress it when you run, and then slowly it'll try to decompress and eventually it can't decompress anymore, and that's when change it. But if it doesn't have time to decompress between runs because you're using it every day, then it is not going to have the ability to last as long as it possibly can. So, what you can do here is have two pairs of shoes, switch them between days, and that allows them to decompress and dry out, which is important for longevity.
My second tip on top of having those two pairs and this goes right along with that is to have a dedicated pair of shoes for each kind of activity that you're doing. Don't take your running shoes with you when you go do tennis, have a completely different pair of shoes. But even within running, you want to have dedicated pairs of shoes for certain activities. Meaning races, possibly fast workouts, or just your normal long runs. That shoe I showed you, the one that's on my foot now, that is my training shoe. Actually, I use them when they're worn out for my everyday shoe and so I'm wearing it now.
But you want to have a training shoe to take on your long runs, and then something different that you can take with you for your race and have a dedicated race shoe, this is the only shoe you racing. Maybe you want to try it out before just because nothing new on race day, we know that rule, but you only use that shoe on race day.
And it goes along with that first principle where we want our shoes to rest, we're also making sure that they're only dedicated to certain things and that allows them to both rest, get the life out of them for the entirety that we can, but then also not giving certain shoes undue strain. If you take a racing flat and you're using it every single day, well, it's going to break down faster than regular training shoes, it not what it's built for. It's built to go fast. It's not built to hold up. So, we have specific shoes for specific purposes, that's going to help the longevity of each pair of shoes that you own.
All right. My next two won't actually cost you any more money, so we’ve cut past the spend more money to solve our problem part. And this is going to be pretty easy for most of us, but that's run on softer surfaces. I've talked about this in my treadmill running video where the treadmill will actually help your shoes last longer because you aren't giving it the kind of impact and pounding that running on a hard surface would. It’s also better on you and your joints if you have bad running form. But we run on softer surfaces, you're not forcing that compression in the midsole that middle of the shoe that I showed you as much as when you're running on say a sidewalk.
So, pick grass when you can, track softer, and then there's even a debate here. I've always gone by the rule that asphalt is softer than summit, meaning the road is softer than the sidewalk. Obviously, this isn't always an option for you because it depends on traffic. I live in an area that it really depends on the road, whether you can do that or not. But if you have the option, that's kind of a general rule of thought. It will also be easier on you if you're building mileage because shin splints kind of goes along with this same adage if you run softer surfaces, it's easier on your joints, easier on your muscles. So, not only will your shoes get benefit, but your body should get benefit as well.
My fourth tip here, and again, this is another free one, it's use good form. If you haven't seen my form video, where I talk about how to develop good form, how to do all that, hit that button right in the right-hand corner there. Subscribe to the channel, then go check that out after this video is over. But using good form is very, very important if you want all the longevity out of your shoes.
The reason is, again, as with all these undue stress on the shoe, it’s going to make it have a shorter lifespan. So, when we have bad form and we're hitting hard with our heels or the outside of our feet, or anything that we really shouldn't during normal biomechanics, not for that particular shoe, that kind of shoe that you have, that means we're going to be wearing out a certain section of that shoe sooner than the rest of the shoe.
Meaning, we could still have sections that are fine, that are perfectly usable and theoretically, we could use them but there is a weak point. And when you have that weak point and it runs out, especially because that's the point of contact that you're using over and over through poor form. Well, then that's the time we have to change the shoe. So, working on you or getting your own biomechanics actually helps the longevity of the shoe.
So, all these kind of go hand in hand with, they're better for you, you're better for your body, but they're also better for the shoe at the same time. Because you're one entire system, the shoe is just part of what you're doing. It's only an indication of how you're moving through space, and what kind of impact you're getting that's coming through the shoe. So, those are my four tips on making your shoes last longer.
My fifth and kind of fifth and final tip as a bonus tip here is use your shoes for your everyday shoes after you've worn them out. Just like I showed you, I pulled that off of my foot because I want to demo this shoe for you. But those are my shoes that I ran in, these are my running shoes. And then I use them as my kind of everyday walk around kind of shoe after they're done because they're still good for that.
They’re still perfectly good for that kind of purpose. But the reality is we want to make your shoes longer because shoes can be expensive, especially when you're going through them very very fast. So, if you have to have a dedicated running shoe and then also buy new shoes to walk in, then that can add up as well. If that's what works for you, do it.
But my personal preference is I take my own running shoes and then I walk in them until they're beat. There's basically three levels here, running shoe, it's brand new, you wear through it, you walk in it, then it's worn out, and then you can keep it. And if you have a lawn to mow, then you keep it for that or odd jobs. But is that good for anything as far as protecting your feet at that point. Anyway, those are my tips on making your shoes last longer. As always, subscribe to the channel, stick around with me for more running tips. I'll see you next time on the next episode Runner’s High.