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Should I Have More Than One Pair of Running Shoes?

SEP. 22, 2022
Whether you go for a light run on the weekends or hit the pavement every morning before work, you might wonder if you need more than one pair of running shoes.
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It all depends on how often you run. If you run four or more times a week, you should have at least two pairs of shoes.

To help, we’ll explore the benefits of rotating between trainers, look at the cost, and provide tips to add a new pair of running shoes to your lineup.

Benefits of Rotating Between Two Pairs of Running Shoes

For avid runners, rotating between two (or even three) pairs of running shoes is ideal. Rotating your shoes can:

  • Prevent muscle aches
When you run, your body relies on a certain set of muscles to take each stride. It’s a repetitive motion. If your feet are in the same shoes for each run, that repetitive motion puts stress on the same muscles and joints. As a result, muscles can become sore or even injured. By rotating running shoes, you’re likely distributing the weight a little differently, which can prevent muscle fatigue and soreness.

  • Allow the shoes to decompress
Every time your foot hits the ground, your sneakers absorb somewhere between one-and-a-half to two times your body weight. Put simply, running shoes take a beating, and the foam that absorbs that weight needs time to bounce back.

Ideally, you’d let a pair of running shoes decompress for 24 to 48 hours before running in them again. If you have another pair of running shoes, you can rotate between them and give each pair ample time to return to its optimum state.

  • Provide specific support based on the type of run
To keep your runs interesting, you probably vary the length, right? A lot of runners decide to use different shoes for different types of runs.

They opt for a maximum running shoe, with a larger sole to provide more cushion, like GEL-KAYANO™ 28, for longer runs, and neutral shoes, like DYNABLAST™ 2, with a lower drop height, for shorter runs.

Does It Cost More to Have Multiple Pairs of Running Shoes?

Buying more than one pair of running shoes isn’t more expensive in the long run. By rotating shoes, you extend the lifespan of each pair, so the cost is actually the same.

You’ll buy running shoes less frequently when you rotate between two pairs. You can extend the lifespan of trainers to a year if you rotate between two. If you don’t, one pair usually lasts about six months.

two people walking

How to Start Rotating Your Running Shoes

If you’re ready to rely on more than one pair of running shoes, you should follow these steps to avoid injury:

  • Walk in them first
You might consider taking a few walks with the shoes before you start running in them. Doing so has two benefits. First, you break them in. Second, you can test their fit. During your walk, you might realize that the shoes aren’t the right fit. If that’s the case, it’s better to know that when you’re a block from your house as opposed to six miles away.

  • Start slowly
When you add a new pair of shoes to your routine, you should do so slowly. Consider using them for one or two runs a week until you’re comfortable.

  • Be prepared for an adjustment
It’s common for new running shoes to feel a bit uncomfortable when you first wear them. Stick with it. The discomfort should not last more than one or two runs. If it does, it’s likely a sign of ill-fitting shoes. You may need to return them for a better fit.

  • Select sneakers based on the length of your run
When you’re ready, start using your running shoes based on the distance you plan to run. For longer runs, you should rely on shoes with a taller stack height and responsive rebound. For shorter runs, you can use more flexible shoes that help you connect foot-to-ground.

Two people running

Should Shoe Rotation Be Based Solely on Distance?

While a lot of runners do rotate shoes based on how far they plan to run, it’s not the only option.

Some runners rotate shoes based on the terrain. For runs on the neighborhood pavement, a pair of neutral running shoes that combine support and comfort are ideal. To run on uneven ground, trail running shoes are made to maintain support and balance on loose rocks and jagged surfaces. In this case, shoe rotation depends on the ground you plan to run on.

Some runners rotate their shoes based on the kind of workout they’re planning. For instance, a runner looking to increase their speed might add a pair of METASPEED EDGE™ shoes to their rotation to improve their running pace. You might decide to rotate shoes based on your workouts and alternate between a stable shoe and a speed shoe.

Having an extra pair of running shoes is beneficial to most runners. Whether you’re participating in your first marathon or recently joined a running club, rotating between two pairs of shoes can extend the lifespan of your shoes and improve your training.