Most people will tell you that you should replace your running shoes every 300-400 miles. A common line of thinking is that the treads (the bottom) will wear out and that will be a sign to chuck your kicks. But in actuality, by the time this part of the shoe wears down, it is WAY too late and you should have gotten new shoes a long time ago.
The first part to break down is actually inside the shoe. According to a variety of resources, you can tell it’s time for new shoes when you can bend the shoe in half easily, but another surefire sign is pain after a run. Shin splints, joints, more muscle pain than usual – these are all pieces of evidence that point to a new pair of shoes.
300 miles adds up faster than you might think. I probably run around 6 miles a week on average. Fun fact: 52 weeks (in a year) x 6 miles a week = 312 miles! Additionally, most running experts say that you shouldn’t wait until it’s really time to buy new shoes. You should get some a bit before and start rotating them to your running routine gradually. This does a few things. First, it breaks the shoes in a bit better (very important for someone like me with weak ankles and feet already prone to injury!). Secondly, it reassures you that it IS time for new shoes – you should be able to feel a difference in the way you feel after a run with the old pair versus the new pair. When there’s pain associated with the veteran shoes – throw ’em out! Lastly, of course, you’re not putting as much strain on either pair of shoes if you’re cutting their workload in half.
When I finally came to grips with spending $100ish on new shoes, I started on my research. As anyone who knows me or has been reading my blog for a while knows, I am prone to foot and ankle injuries. I have sprained my ankle twice (once while running with my dog and once while tripping over my own two feet on a golf course) and have also sustained a less serious, but still quite painful foot injury. Knowing that my feet and ankles are particular (read: I have super high arches which causes my feet to under-pronate while I run), I did a lot of research on shoes. Dan was trying to get me into the whole barefoot running ordeal for a while, but it just wasn’t for me. I read SHAPE, SELF, Runner’s World, About.com, Zappo’s Shoe Buying Guide (yes, this really does exist and is quite helpful!) to get an amalgamation of reviews and opinions. After all this, I ended up with a brand I’ve had for years and L-O-V-E. Asics. Specifically the Gel Lyte33.
Never having owned neon pink and yellow shoes before, I was unsure about how the performance would stack up against their flair. I’ve been wearing them for a week, though, and I have to say – I am very impressed!
Picking them up is a total shock – they weigh nothing. This feeling carries over to putting them on – my feet feel MUCH lighter in these than any pair of shoes I have ever come across.
They are very flexible, allowing a lot of movement, and as an-ankle roller, that still doesn’t make me nervous about wearing them. They have just the right amount of cushioning under my foot (which is to say, very little, as is what’s recommended for an under-pronator such as myself).
I have worn them for weight lifting, running, ellipticizing and kick boxing so far. They are comfortable, breathe well and grip the floor well.
As an added bonus, if I wear them for an early morning or late evening run where the sun isn’t out – I can be seen for miles in any direction.
They have already started to break in nicely, stretching just the way I like my shoes to. I will continue to post updates of them – the life of my gym shoe. Which sounds like the most boring blog series ever, so I’ll think of ways to spice it up. Maybe I’ll spill things up on them and share with you how easy they are to clean. Nope, that doesn’t sound good either. I’ll work on it, ok? Let me know if you have any suggestions.
What kind of running shoes do you want or wear currently?