Time to change your running shoes

I admit it: I am using my running shoes until the bitter end. Until water comes in. Until the sole flies off. In my case it is definitely time to head to the running store, but what exactly are the signs that you should change?

Why should you change

Your shoes are the most important item in your running equipment. Their main functionality is to provide stability, shock absorption and cushioning. Worn-out running shoes do not fulfill these functionalities anymore and your body needs to compensate and this is when overuse injuries occur.

The Golden Rule when to change

In fact, there isn’t any. I asked 3 experts in running stores here in Montreal and checked nearly 20 different web pages and guess what: I have over 20 different answers. “Between 400 and 600 miles”, “every 6 months”, “1200 miles”, “every 9 to 12 months” are just some of the feedbacks which I got.

So, why there is no Golden Rule? There are so many different variables which come into play: main surface (asphalt vs. trail), runner’s weight, running style, shoe style (ex. lightweight) etc. They all have an impact on the usage of shoes. There are no reliable studies and the marketing messages from the big shoemakers are not a big help neither.

When you should change

If you feel that your shoes do not provide the necessary shock absorption, it is time! You can do the press test which consists in pressing your thumb on the midsole (in the center of the shoe). If it is hard like a rock, head to the next store. If you do the same test with new shoes, the midsole will compress.

Do not wait too long

Do not take me as example, do not wait until your running shoes feel like clogs. It will lead to unnecessary injuries. As soon as your shoes do not provide the necessary cushion and shock absorption, get a new pair. Like I will do.


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