Running is a sport that requires little equipment, but a good pair of running shoes is a must. A well-fitting, comfortable pair of shoes can reduce injuries, prevent blisters and improve performance.
Just like most sports equipment, running shoes eventually wear out and should be replaced to prevent injuries. Shoes that are old and worn out may also affect your running efficiency. So how do you know when it’s time for a new pair of running shoes?
Running shoes should be changed before the EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) that lines the insoles of most shoes breaks down—but how do you know when that is?
Most experts agree that they typical pair of running shoes lasts about 500 miles. Some runners prefer to replace their shoes every 300 miles. Depending how often and how far you run, that might mean replacing your shoes every five or six months. A runner’s foot strike and weight, running style and running surfaces should all be considered.
Here are a few ways to tell if it’s time to trade in your shoes for a new pair.
1. Place your hand inside your shoe and press your thumb into the center, or midsole, of the shoe. Does it feel cushy? If not, it may be time for a new pair.
2. Place one hand inside your shoe and the other on the bottom sole. Press the bottom hand into the shoe, and if you can feel your fingers pressing through, that’s a sign your shoes are worn out.
3. Compare your old shoes to a new pair. A comfortable fit is most important when selecting the right shoe. If you compare your existing shoes to a brand-new pair and they no longer feel comfortable, it’s time to retire your shoes.
4. Listen to your body. How do your feet feel after a run? Are they achy? Do you feel any pain? If you notice discomfort in your feet, it could be because the cushioning in your shoes has worn thin.
Bottom line: Pay attention to how you feel wearing your shoes, as well as how your shoes look. If the outsole of your running shoes is starting to break down and look like a bald tire, now is the time to invest in a new pair.