CHANGING YOUR RUNNING SHOES - KNOWING WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME
When you take your new ASICS running shoes out of the box they are at their most protective and supportive. But like any product, they wear down over time. Podiatrist and ASICS PRO Team member Clifton Bradeley explains when and why you should change them.
“Like any product that’s used regularly, your ASICS running shoes will wear out eventually. How quickly this happens is determined by your mileage, body weight and foot type."
- Running on the road all of the time will wear out your shoes quicker than running off-road
- A heavy overpronator who runs daily will wear their shoes out faster than a lighter, neutral runner who runs every other day
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU CHANGE RUNNING SHOES?
It’s difficult to provide a definite answer, as every shoe will wear differently depending on your running style, the frequency of your runs and the design of the shoe. However, if you notice any of the following tell-tale signs of excessive wear, it’s time to start looking for your next pair of shoes:
- The outer sole has worn through to the white midsole
- The midsole feels too soft and collapses easily under pressure. You may see longitudinal creases in the midsole
- The heel counter becomes mobile and less supportive
- Your toes wear through the toe-box and the shoe upper tears
- One shoe sole becomes asymmetrically worn compared with the other
- One or both shoes no longer stand up straight when placed on a flat surface
If you identify one or more of these factors, visit a specialist running store and take your old running shoe to have an expert opinion and new shoes fitted.
HOW MANY MILES BEFORE YOU CHANGE RUNNING SHOES?
As a general rule, you should consider changing your running shoes between every 450 to 550 miles. However, if your running shoes are not showing any of the above signs of excessive wear, you may be able to wear them for longer without increasing the risk of injury.
WHY DO YOU NEED TO REPLACE YOUR RUNNING SHOES REGULARLY?
If looks don’t matter to you, you may wonder why you need to replace your beaten up running shoes at all. Despite some obvious damage and wear, your running shoes might appear to be working just fine, but the real damage usually lies under the surface.
After a certain amount of use, the structural integrity of the shoe will deteriorate and it will no longer provide the stability and support it’s supposed to. Continuing to run in shoes that no longer have many of the components and technology they were designed with may increase your risk of repetitive injuries in the feet, legs and pelvis and reduce your running efficiency.
WHAT AFFECTS HOW LONG YOUR SHOES WILL LAST?
There are a number of factors that will determine how often you need to change your running shoes. That includes:
- The terrain you run on
Where you run, whether it’s inside, on the road, on trails or a combination of these, is one of the biggest factors in determining when you should change your running shoes. To prolong the life of your shoes, the main thing is to make sure that the terrain you run on most frequently is the terrain your shoe is designed for.
- Your running style
Your natural running style also plays a part in how many miles you can run before changing your shoes. You’ll probably have noticed that no two runners have exactly the same gait or footstrike. If you’re not sure how your feet strike the floor, take a look at the sole of your old running shoes and see whether the front or heel carries the most wear. This information will help you choose a shoe that’s better suited to your running style and should last longer.
- Heel strikers - If your shoes are worn predominantly on the heel, you are a heel striker. This is the most common footstrike type for long-distance road runners and may mean you need to replace your running shoes more regularly.
- Forefoot strikers - This is the most common footstrike type for sprinters and hill runners and is characterised by wear under the big toe or on the outer side of the shoe’s front.
- Your build
Your weight and height play a key role in how often you should change your running shoes. Being heavier or taller than the ‘average’ runner means your shoes are likely to wear more quickly, unless you buy running shoes that are designed for your particular build and running style. Increased support and cushioning will make sure your shoe lasts as long as possible.