Time to Shoo! your shoes?

Updated: Feb 21

Hi everyone, so here it is, the final blog about running and as promised we are asking, how do you know when it's time to replace your running shoes? 🤔

Well at a basic level you can keep track of the milage they have covered, most manufactures recommend replacing your shoes every 300- 500 miles. This can be a bit frightening if you run high mileages as that can represent only two or three months! This really does hold true for our elite runners who give their shoes a real run for their money, but can vary quite a bit in more recreational runners depending on how heavy or light you are, your running speed, style and gait pattern and the surfaces you run on. Some people get years out of them!

So, how else can you tell?

Well, let's keep it nice and simple and look at three visual ways to tell if their time is up.

Firstly you will usually notice two colours on the sole of your shoe, one under the other. Commonly this is a white 'base' with a black sole unit over the top which contains the tread pattern. Depending on your shoe these colours will of course vary.

  1. Check the sole colours. Quite simply as the surface of the outer sole wears thin, the base colour starts to show through in the patches of high wear. When you see this happening the shoe is nearing the end of its useful life.

  2. Squish the sole! Squish the sole with your thumb and forefinger from one end of the shoe to the other, it should feel similar in 'squishiness' along its length. When your shoe has lost its shock absorbing properties you will suddenly find an area that just squishes almost flat, with no real effort. That soft spot will normally correspond with your foot striking style, which hopefully you may have got a good idea of now. If you also look at the whole sole unit, side on, you will see compression lines and creases have appeared. If unsure whether the creases you are seeing are wear, then look up a picture of a brand new shoe and any new lines will become very apparent.

  3. Check the sole condition. The upper of the shoe is coming away from the sole or has sort of stretched and flopped over the edge of the sole. I know this one may sound obvious but for three decades we have been presented with shoes like this, accompanied by the question 'how much longer can I get out of them?"

How easy is that! 😀 Give it a go, and if you're unsure just send us a photo and we will let you know.

Finally, I promised I would talk about how motion control shoes fit into running gait and injury.

If you are in motion control shoes it is usually because you have been assessed as not having a neutral gait, most commonly you will over pronate. Now a corrective shoe is one solution, but it doesn't address why you have a foot placement issue in the first place and that can actually result in a bit of a cruel trick!

As the miles pass your shoe wears and as it does so it looses its supportive/motion control properties. At the same time you may well be increasing your milage to hit, say that half marathon target. Can you see where this is going?......So at the point that you need the most support, the shoe is suddenly offering none 😲.

This is really one of the biggest causes of sudden injury we see and to make it all that much, worse people often have a gait issue due to muscular weakness. Why is this bad, well, what happens when we support a muscle or limb in a sling?.........it gets even weaker. If you need any convincing, just picture an arm or leg when it comes out of a cast.

The motion control /corrective shoe is acting just like a cast and locking out not just undesirable movement but nearly all movement. In that case you really cant afford to wait until your shoe is completely dead, so you need to replace it a the very first signs of excess wear. You cant push it to complete loss of support. That's now getting a little expensive and what happens when your favourite model is discontinued? We have no idea if the replacement model is going to perform as well and so on.

So, how about this as an alternative solution:

Identify the bio-mechanical and or strength issue and correct it / strengthen it? That would solve all sorts of issues and.....would allow you to use a neutral shoe, which of course also cost less each time you have to replace it. Which will be less often as a neutral strike is much gentler on the shoe.

I really hope the last few blogs have helped you. 😃 At the Reinge Clinic we can do a one off Running Gait Assessment, or have a great package designed to assess your running, biomechanics and strength and create a bespoke training and strength package for you over several sessions. If you are interested take a look here.

Happy and injury free running.

The Reinge Clinicis a Physiotherapy, Sports Therapy, Sports Science clinic based in Kenilworth, Warwickshire. Take a look at our facebook page for our pain, injury and exercise advice posts and learn more about us on our website.

#physiokenilworth #sportstherapykenilworth #runningphysio #running #runningassessment #exerciseexpertkenilworth #sportsmassagekenilworth #kenilworth #leamingtonspa #warwick #warwickshire

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All