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When to replace your running shoes?

Updated on March 1, 2011

 Replacing your old running shoes is a way to prevent possible running injuries. The reason for that lies in the fact that with use running shoes loose cushioning, stability and shock absorption, therefore increasing the impact on your joints and knees.

So, how do you know when to replace your running shoes?  Most people will look at the degree of wear of their soles. But, that’s not a reliable method. The midsole of your running shoes that is responsible for the cushioning and stability usually breaks down before any signs of wear show on the bottom soles.

A sign your running shoes need replacement is when your joints and knees start to hurt after running, the reason being that your shoes are not shock  absorbing anymore putting the pressure on the knees, joints and muscles.

The ”expiration date" of your running shoes depends upon many factors like your weight, running style and the type terrain you are jogging on.  Still, experts say that you should replace your shoes after your running distance reaches 300 - 400 miles.

If you are a regular runner than having another pair of running shoes is a good idea. Your shoes should decompress a day or two after every run. It's good to let them dry for the same period of time to avoid the growth of various microorganisms (that cause smelly feet).

A good time to get another pair of your running shoes is somewhere halfway through the lifespan of your first pair. You will be able to compare the two pairs and the amount of wear. This will help you determine when it’s time to replace the first pair.

If you take care of your running shoes they will last longer. Here are some simple tips that will help your running shoes last a little bit longer:

• Use your sneakers for specific activity: Don't use the same shoes for running and exercising. Use one pair for running and another one for exercising. The type of movement you perform while running differ from the ones you do when you exercise and your sneaker will mold themselves after that. So, mixing the two will not benefit your feet.

• Avoid washing your shoes in the washing machine: I know it’s easier but as much as it saves time it ruins your running shoes. Wash them by hand using some soap, room temperature water and a small non abrasive brush. You will employ a little bit more time and some elbow grease but you will prolong the life span of your shoes. 

• Air dry your wet shoes: don't use radiators or the drier to dry your shoes. Again using these devices may save you some time but it can also severely damage your sneakers. Your running shoes can shrink (it happen to me a few months ago) and the leather can roughen. Rather use a traditional method that includes putting newspaper or absorbent paper of any kind inside your wet sneakers. This will fasten the drying time and still keep your shoes nice and pretty.

• Try keeping your shoes in a cool and dry place: A humid place with little aeration is not a good place to keep your shoes (this applies to all shoe not only running ones). Humid places are the ideal environment for various microorganisms, like fungus. And you want to avoid them on your feet. 

• Before taking your shoes off unlace them: I know that we all do that when we are in a hurry, but in the long run this practice deforms your shoes. So, please be gentle to your shoes and your feet and take a couple of seconds to unlace your shoes before taking them off.



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