Replacing your running shoes

Running shoes are a vital component towards creating a comfortable and safe running experience. The variety in shoes span far and wide with every manufacturer creating their own designs, styles, and fit. Despite ongoing advances in shoes, none of them last forever. Knowing when to retire and replace your runners can help improve your running experience and reduce the risk of injuries.

Mileage: Approximately 800km. This number will vary depending on several factors but can also be influenced by your running style and terrain. As an example, a person that consistently runs 5kms x3/week will equate to roughly 1 year of usage to reach the 800km limit. To maximise the life of the shoe, it is recommended to dedicate your running shoes only for that activity and not use them as a daily walking shoe.

Shoe components to keep an eye on:
• Upper – The top half of the shoe that accommodates and wraps your foot including the heel and toes
– Holes: If part of your foot, especially toes, have worn through the upper and created holes within the fabric/mould. Consider whether or the sizing of your shoe (length and/or width) is the right fit for you.

• Lining – The inner fabric of the upper that is in contact with your socks
– Look inside of the shoe and check if there is excessive wear in the lining. The heel section is common area that can get worn down quickly especially if the shoe is too small.

• Midsole – The shock absorbing layer with or without integrating stabilisation
– Creasing: If you have noticed excessive crinkling or creasing along the side of the midsole. This indicates that the shock absorbing layer of the shoe is no longer attenuating the running loads as effectively.

• Outsole – The bottommost part of the shoe that provides traction along the ground and durability necessary to safely negotiate the terrain under varying weather conditions.
– Excessive wear: Replacement is needed if the outsole has been worn down to the point that the midsole underneath becomes visible or when the tread is flattened.
– Wear patterns: The regions of wear along the outsole can also provide some indication as to how your foot loads the shoe. This could help determine if the type of shoe is the most appropriate for your running technique.
– Supination pattern: Tread wear along the lateral side (same side as your 5th toe) of the outsole
– Over-pronation pattern: Tread wear along the medial side (same side as your 1st toe) of the outsole
– Neutral pattern: Tread wear along the middle of the outsole

There are many factors that are involved to determine an appropriate shoe for you. Here are some to consider in the future.
• Foot width
• Foot volume
• Foot arch
• Toe-in or Toe-out walking pattern
• Running terrain
• Running distance or volume
• Previous or current injuries
• Strike pattern
• Comfort
• Heel-toe drop
• Shoe stiffness
• Shoe cushioning
• Shoe weight

Everyone will have a preference when it comes to running shoes and there is no “one size fits all.” If injuries are occurring due to running, then seek out a consultation with our physiotherapists to help guide you.



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