Do I Ditch the Shoes?

4 Signs that its Time to Ditch the Running Shoes

Do you have a running shoe that offers good support, is comfortable, and makes you FAST (like my son’s light-up sketchers)?

Once you find the perfect shoe, it can be tough to let go. Sometimes it feels like we develop an emotional attachment to our shoes. I still have the shoes I wore during my first marathon chucked in the back of my closet!

I put a lot of miles in those and they served me well! That being said, after all the training and the race itself, those shoes have seen better days.

TL/TR – watch a short video instead.

So, what are some signs that it’s time to ditch the shoes?

  • Lifespan

    The lifespan of tennis shoes should be measured in distance versus time. The recommended miles on a pair of shoes is between 300-500 miles (500-700km); this includes EITHER walking OR running miles! The higher the quality of shoe, the closer you may be able to stretch it towards that 500-mile mark.

  • Wear and Tear

    Check your shoes for wear. If your shoes have holes in them or the soles are worn, it’s likely time for a replacement.  One way to check your soles is to set them on a level surface at eye level.  Does the shoe lay evenly or does it lean off to one side? Imagine your whole body falling into that lean with each step you take. Time to ditch the shoes!

  • Flexibility

    How flexible are your shoes? While flexibility sounds like a good thing, it’s preferred that your shoe is able to keep its shape in order to provide stability. Try the fold test shown below and if your shoe can fold in half (the picture on the right), it’s too flexible!

    Time to ditch the shoes

  • Listen to your Body

    Once our shoes start to get worn down, they are less able to provide support! Our joints can feel the loss of love and you may notice that your hips, knees, or ankles are starting to feel a little achy after a walk or run.

If it seems like you are tough on your shoes and they are always needing to be replaced, here are some tips to improve their longevity:

  1. Buy a couple of pairs that you can alternate between.
  2. Untie and loosen the laces every time you take your shoes off versus kicking them off with your other foot.
  3. Let them air out. Sweat and bacteria can build on your shoes, making the material more susceptible to wear.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out to the professionals at Apex Physical Therapy!

We would love to be a part of your healthcare team.

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