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Keeping your shoes up-to-date

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sarah Sceery
Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Photo: Courtesy of Admin

As an athlete in high school, at the first sign of injury or pain, I was always asked, “how old are your shoes?” Many times, they were too old. However, as the years of college have moved on, new running shoes are not something I often think of, until recently. I was running on the treadmill and all of a sudden had pains in the arches of my feet. I tried to run through it, but after a few minutes had to stop. After taking a look at my shoes, I realized it was time for an upgrade.

Whether you wear running shoes or walking shoes, keeping your exercise shoes current is extremely important to prevent injury. When shoes become worn out, they lose stability and shock absorbency. A shoe that is too old can cause various injuries, feet or leg pain such as shin splints, soreness, and painful blisters. Often when shoes lose stability or begin to wear, the first layer to go is the midsole, which you don’t actually see. This is one of the reasons people often don’t know that their shoes are no longer doing what they should be! As the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends, running shoes should last between 350-550 miles. That may seem like a lot of miles for some, but if you think about it, if you run about 3 miles, 4 times per week, that is 12 miles/week. That is already a little over 300 miles in 6 months! Replacement of shoes can also vary within the mileage range based on:

  • racing and running requirements
  • surfaces such as trails, pavement, or indoors
  • style of running
  • body weight    

When it comes time to purchase new shoes, it is important to find a good shoe store where you are allowed to test the shoes. Many shops will have a treadmill set up or even let you take the shoes for a test run. Although shoes may be expensive, it is important to find the right shoe for your foot and running style in order to prevent injury and keep you a happy runner!

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