Running is one of America’s favorite forms of exercise. In the spring of 2017, the number of joggers/runners amounted to a whopping 65.05 million across the country, and that number seems to be growing. Although the habit might be excellent for people’s emotional and physical health, it’s quite taxing on their shoes over the course of the year.
Whether you run indoors on a treadmill or hit the trails outside, your shoes undergo a lot of stress. Experts recommend that you replace your shoes on a regular basis for several reasons, and as annoying as it is to shell out a couple hundred bucks annually for new kicks, your body will thank you for the effort. Here are some reasons why you should replace your running shoes and how often you should do so:
The Dangers of Wearing Overly Worn-Out Shoes
As tempting as it is to keep trucking along in your old sneakers, it’s been proven that doing so isn’t a smart decision. If your shoes are worn out, chances are that their shock absorbers aren’t doing the greatest job. That means that with every step, your feet are taking in more of the shock, which can lead to serious injuries, including painful shin splints and aching muscles.
Additionally, the shoes’ cushioning and midsole support can wear down, causing further discomfort. The injuries will make your life harder, and it will prevent you from performing at your peak abilities when you run.
When Do You Need to Purchase Replacements?
The general rule of thumb, according to some experts you should replace your running shoes after they’ve endured about 200 miles of action. Others say you can stretch the duration of your running shoes from 300 to 500 miles or so, depending on what kind of terrain you run on or how often you hit the road.
However, most people don’t track the exact number of miles completed in a specific pair of shoes, so this can be a challenging way to assess their status. The easiest way to tell if you need some new kicks is to figure out if your shoes feel like they did when you first started running in them. If the cushioning or fit has changed over time, or if the shoe just doesn’t feel as supportive, then it’s probably time to hit the store and pick up a new pair.
Blisters, hot spots, and unexpected pains are also indicative of shoes that are a little too worn. Speaking of worn, if your shoes start to develop holes, stretched out heels, or any significant signs of wear and tear, chuck those babies in the trash ASAP.
How You Can Help Make Your Running Shoes Last Longer
If you’re a frequent runner, you’ll probably go through several pairs of shoes every year regardless of what techniques you employ to keep your newest pair in tip-top shape. Still, there are a few things you can do to try to extend the life of your favorite pair.
Rotate between two pairs of shoes-if you have a pair of adidas and a pair of Nike running shoes, you can easily switch between the two and still benefit from both pairs. Not only will it make both pairs last a little longer, but you’ll also find that the technique has a training advantage by challenging your body to adjust to subtle differences.
Also, remove your shoes properly. As strange as it sounds, there is a correct way to slide your foot out of your running shoe: unlace each shoe individually and slip it off with your hands. Never resort to lazily prying a shoe off with your heel; that will stretch it out.
The biggest thing you can do to help your shoes last longer? Only run in your running shoes. That sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s true. Don’t meander down grocery aisles in your nice running shoes. Instead, purchase a pair of comfortable tennis shoes that are for errands or casual looks and leave your running shoes for those days you plan on actually exercising. The less you wear your running shoes, the longer they’ll live.
Ways to Find Bargains on New Running Shoes
Unlike most professional runners, the average exerciser doesn’t get handed a free pair of quality shoes as soon as their last pair starts looking a little used. Replacing your shoes can cost you hundreds of dollars every year, which is more than a little painful for your wallet. However, there are a few shopping methods you can rely on to save a little cash when it’s time to purchase new shoes.
A recent online study indicates that the newest version of a running shoe purchased in a store rings up at an average price of $121. The same quality of shoes purchased online totaled at an average of $75, which indicates that most consumers could save up to 38 percent by doing their running shoe shopping on the Internet rather than in the mall. Therefore, try shopping from smaller retail stores to get the best deals on your shoes–rather than chain department store sites.
Also, try to avoid buying the absolute newest version of any athletic shoe. Buying last year’s style probably won’t make a huge difference, but it can save you a substantial amount of money.
Remember, it is important to select a shoe that fits your foot extremely well, so make sure to try on any shoes you purchase and assess them before committing to keeping them. Many online stores have return policies, so as long as you can try your shoes out before you start running and take them back if they don’t fit well, you’ll be good to go.
Don’t Take this Lightly
If you work out and run constantly, you want your feet and body to be protected at all times. Although it can be expensive, there are ways around buying appropriate running shoes without going into debt.
Make sure that your shoes fit good and are comfortable before you do a lot of running in them in case you want to return them. Also, try and avoid buying the most expensive shoes just because you think they work best. As long as you are paying attention to your health and the condition of your shoes–you’re moving in the right direction.