A client of mine in Australia asked me about shoe replacement recently. This is a common question so I thought I’d tackle it here for your reading and foot pleasure 🙂
Before I talk about retiring a pair of shoes I mention having a shoe rotation. If you watch that video you’ll see one of the reasons (among others) a rotation can be good is that when it does come to retire a pair of kicks, you already have at least one pair ready to go!
So now back to the topic at hand,
When is it time to retire a pair of shoes?
I was Skyping with a client in Canada recently and he mentioned he likes to replace his shoes every 500k or so.
On the flip side, I literally run in my zero drop shoes until they’re not zero drop anymore. The pair below have covered 1500 miles. I’ve ran in minimal shoes until the sole wears through under my big toe.
But I don’t mind that my client runs in his for only 500k, heck, I should ask him if he’s a size 10-10.5 and he can send them down to me for another 1000k 😉
So go by feel, if you feel like a shoe is expired, it’s expired.
It’s that simple!
And now circling back to the rotation, I feel that having this rotation not only gives you another pair that can easily be brought into your primary shoe position but (this may surprise you) the rotation may help you run in all of your shoes for more miles.
Variation is healthy when it comes to your running as it likely reduces injury risk because it slightly changes up how your muscles move + activate and where the loading takes place in your body. The same shoes and the same speed on flat terrain for 20 miles a week loads the body’s soft tissue on a variety of locations and not just the same spots over and over again, which is likely to produce an overuse injury!
Need proof? This study did indeed find that “the parallel use of more than one pair of running shoes was a protective factor” when it came to running injury rates.
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