Few things are more important to a runner than a good pair of tennis shoes. They hit the trail with you, pound the pavement and work with you mile after sweat-inducing mile. While you may grow attached to your running shoes, they sadly wear out over time, offering less support and stability to your foot, which increases your risk for injury.
1. You’ve Got Worn-Out Soles
Flip your shoe over and check out the damage — do your soles still have grooved areas or do they seem to be shiny and flat? When the soles of you shoes can no longer grip the ground you’re running on, it’s time for a new pair. While every person has a different foot strike pattern, excess wear on the outer portion of your soles can mean your shoes need to be replaced.
2. Your Body Is Hurting
Have you noticed your back has been hurting more than usual after the last few runs or your feet feel completely worn-out, but you’re not sure why? Your shoes could be to blame (thank goodness it isn’t your body wearing out instead). Worn-out shoes can cause discomfort in a number of places, including your hips, knees, feet and legs. If you are doing everything else pretty much the same, consider your shoes could be the issue.
3. You’ve Tracked 500 Miles
Whether you’re an avid runner or walker, when you log 500 miles in your athletic shoes, it’s likely time for a change. After 500 miles, your shoes start breaking down and providing less-responsive shock absorption to your feet. The part that molds around your foot starts molding a little too well, and you’re left with blisters and rubbing that feels just plain uncomfortable. While you may not keep up with every mile you log, you can estimate a weekly pace and go from there to determine if you’ve hit the 500 mark.
Remember some shoes break down even more quickly, so check steps 1 and 2, even if you haven’t yet run 500 miles in your shoes.
Here’s a tip if you’re looking to extend the life of your running shoes: Be careful how you take them off and put them on. Putting your shoes on with the laces tied may mean you break down the back portion of your shoes too much. Kicking your shoes off by using your foot can also break down the shoe before its time. Use your hands instead, and you’ll get more use out of your footwear.