Sometimes You Have To Go Get A New Friend

old shoesAs runners we often have a special relationship with our shoes. They are the one absolutely necessary piece of equipment needed to go run. Any old shorts and shirt will get the job done, but skimping on shoes will likely not be a mistake you make twice. The other side of that is that at some point we have to let out shoes go. They no longer are the high tech running gear they were when we bought them. Now they are old worn out shoes that just need a good place to lay down and rest.Most high end running shoes will be able to go for 300 to 500 miles from my experience. The problem is that there isn’t an exact rule (or mileage) to follow with any shoe. As shoes are worn and take the beating of long runs, hills and even sprints the midsole takes a huge beating. Unfortunately you can’t necessarily see the breakdown of the midsole. The shock absorption part of the shoe is the most important part of what supports your foot. If that goes you may as well be running barefoot. If you are a person with a low or high arch you will probably figure out pretty quick that the shoe is done. You will feel the difference  quickly and foot pain will work its way back into your life.

If you have a relatively normal arch sometimes the foot pain won’t be a major issue so you just don’t notice the shoe is worn out. That is when  you run into problems. When you continue running on shoes that aren’t properly supporting your foot then your foot isn’t properly supporting your legs which aren’t properly supporting your hips which aren’t properly supporting your back. You see where I am going here right? Good shoes make you less likely to have injury. It isn’t the only thing that comes into play, but it certainly plays a role.

The simplest way to keep track is to just mark the date you got your shoes on the calendar and estimate how many miles you run per week and then mark the date they should retire. If you don’t weigh much you can probably get the upper end of the mileage on your shoe if you are a heavier runner (like me unfortunately) you will be on the lower end.

Many running apps will let you see how many miles you ran for a specific amount of time. You can use that to get a more precise mileage. Garmin Connect, and most likely some others, will let you associate a pair of shoes to a run and then it will keep track of the mileage on the shoe to let you know when it is time to replace. I am not one of these people, but I know some people hate switching out their shoes. The shoes have become a close friend that they can rely on and it just hurts to push them aside. The only thing I can say to that is get over it. Your friend is going to hurt you. Go get a new friend! :-) In life and running shoes it’s good to have many friends. Go ahead and get two.

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