Lots of runners find a pair of shoes they end up falling in love with. Unfortunately just because you love them doesn’t mean they’ll last forever. Everything wears out and eventually we all need new running shoes. Here are four of Team ECRP‘s tried and true methods for determining when it’s time to pick up a new pair.
Worn out treads. If your shoes look like the pair on the right in this photo, it’s time for them to go. When you’ve run enough to wear down the rubber on the bottom of your shoe, they’re not much help. Your traction on slippery roads or trails is gone. If your treads lack definition, it’s time to upgrade.
Pain train. Do you feet hurt after a workout? They shouldn’t. What about a sudden onset of shin splints? Both can indicate it’s time for new running shoes. As running shoes age, they start to break down. That breakdown means your cushion isn’t quite so fluffy, your arch isn’t getting the help it needs and your feet aren’t as well protected from the road. Old, broken down shoes can increase your risk for injury. No runner wants that.
Newer is better. You love the model you’re in. To avoid the changes that are made each year you stocked up with multiple pairs. If you slide on a new pair that feels cushier, more comfortable, supportive and softer, it’s time to can the old ones. If they’re pretty close, you’re probably in the clear to keep both pairs in your rotation.
Lots of miles. Lots of runners track their mileage and lots of them don’t. Whether you’re an avid Strava user or not, it’s pretty easy to guess how many miles are on your shoes. Shoes vary widely in how long they’ll last. If you’re running on hard surfaces they won’t last as long as they would if you tackled the trails every day. Heavier runners are tougher on shoes than lighter ones. A good baseline is 300-400 miles per pair but take into account the kind of running you do before tossing anything based purely on mileage.
The good news is there are always new models, technologies and colors out there so when one pair wears out you might just find something you like even more! Take these tips with you on your next outing to decide if it’s time for you to pick up a shiny new pair of running shoes.