So, you watched my series on how to choose the best running shoes for you. And now you're wondering, when should I actually replace my running shoes? Well, I'm Jesse Funk and on today's episode of Runner's High, we're going to talk about a few tips on how to figure out when to replace your running shoes.
You've probably heard that your running shoes should be changed every three to 500 miles. I’ve said in other videos, and I'll say it again. Well, I guess I did just say it again. So, nevermind. You get what I mean, three to 500 miles. But if you're not logging your miles, which you should be, shame on you. How do you know why you should actually change your shoes?
I mentioned in my how to choose a running shoe video that I worked in a store where I fit shoes for runners and people with health conditions for several years. And one of the things I often came across is people would say, “Well, the sole of my shoe isn't worn. It isn’t time to change my shoes.”
Now, people would say this, but sometimes their shoe would be beat to heck, and the sole would be almost completely gone. So, perspective was missing sometimes. That being said, it is one indicator that it's time to change your shoes.
So, a pair of shoes, I just changed this pair here, you can see right in the middle of this, this soul where that color changes, it’s from white to yellow, that dot, that is an indication that it may be time to get a new pair of shoes and start working them into your rotation. It isn’t absolutely going to be an indicator that it's time to change your shoes, it’s dependent in part by what kind of surfaces you're running on.
Keep in mind if you're on a treadmill for all your miles, I encourage you not to be. But if you are on a treadmill for all your miles, just an extreme case, it's going to be easier on the outsoles, it's going to be easier on that surface, and probably not wear away as much of that. Now conversely, if you're on very rough terrain or lots of pavement, it's going to wear away the outsole faster. So again, it's one indicator that you should be getting ready to change your shoes.
Something else visual to look for in your shoe is compression in the midsole, and that's a of the area right here. There isn't any in my particular shoe, I change them out relatively frequently, but it depends in part on how much you weigh. If you weigh more, you're going to be more susceptible to really compressing that midsole. And that's because what happens when you run is that that midsole gets compressed slightly and then bounces back after it has time to rest.
This is why you might see the suggestion to have two or three pairs of the same running shoes and rotate them because just like you, your running shoes need rest to recuperate between uses. They need to dry out and the foam needs a bounce back.
But eventually, that foam in the midsole gets compressed, and it can no longer bounce back. That's an indication that you need to change your shoes. Sometimes it can be seen through those wrinkles in the midsole on the outside. But again, this depends on how much you weigh.
If you're on the heavier side, then it's going to be more likely your shoes will show this indicator. Or if you're using a softer foam shoe, maybe something for racing at the half marathon or marathon pace, then it's also likely to show up in that kind of shoes as well.
My last indicator of when you need to change your shoes has more to do with you than it does the shoe itself and that's really how do you feel. You know if you're getting unusual aches and pains, shin splints or knee pain or you know things you can't really identify but you know your legs are aching more and more in your training schedule has not changed significantly, then it may be time to change your shoes, or maybe an indication that you're in the wrong pair of shoes.
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But when you are getting unusual aches and pains, and you look at your shoe and the outsoles looks fine, and you can't see any indication of ware in the midsole, and to you when you put the shoes on they still feel somewhat cushy. It may be a matter of the shoe is worn out. But you can't see those visible indicators.
That's why we use the three to 500 miles as a guideline. But I know when I had worse running form and was running on harder surfaces, I would typically need to change every 200-250 miles because of the amount of ware I was putting on my body through both, just normal workouts and also improper form.
Those are my three tips on how to figure out when it's time to change your running shoes. So, what questions do you have for me about running? Leave them in the comments below. Let me know. I'll see you on the next episode of Runner's High.