I know all too well the importance of replacing my training shoes before problems arise. Having suffered a serious sub-talar joint stress fracture in my ankle that has put me out of training over the past year, not rotating my shoes soon enough has cost me a lot of time, money and frustration at not being able to run!
When to rotate shoes:
One of the most asked question I hear is "how do I know when to get new shoes?"
Most of us secretly know we are pushing the boundaries and stretching the last few km’s and have been due for 3 months, 6 months or maybe even a few years! Here is a guideline:
Shoe companies recommend the useable life of high mileage running shoes are around 700 to 1000km. Unless you are tracking your training with an accurate GPS or other method, it is difficult to know when to change your shoes. Our guidelines are:
For those who strap on joggers infrequently and exercise lightly, the blue line indicates the estimated km’s over the span of 12 months.
The red line indicates those who are a bit keener with regular exercise about 3 times per week (running less than 5km, personal training, gym sessions)
Finally for those who engage in regular higher mileage exercise (training for a running event, regular intense activity) the green line should be used.
How to rotate shoes:
Retire your old shoes from higher impact activities such as running, personal training, gym classes and use these for lower impact work such as walking and weights. Use your new shoes with the fresh support and cushioning for when your body needs it – running and high impact activities!
If training for an event it is a good idea to try and rotate your shoes about 2 months out from the event. This way you will make sure there aren’t any fitting issues before race day and that you are getting the best performance from your shoes when your training volume, intensity and mileage is at it’s greatest. After the event, I will then use these shoes for the start of the next training program or until they have done their km’s.
Importance of rotating shoes:
With improvements in manufacturing techniques shoes don’t fall apart anymore until they are well and truly used past their useable life. The materials in the shoes will gradual compression set resulting in the shoe gradually becoming flatter and harder reducing comfort and increasing your chance of injury.
If you are unsure or would like to try on a fresh pair to see how far gone your current shoes are, come in store and try a pair on!