How long do our trainers really last?
To my detriment, and despite knowing, I forgot to check my shoes before my recent half marathon training endeavours and as a consequence I managed to get myself injured….don’t do the same, read on for a few tips on when you should get new shoes.
Studies have shown that our trainers or running shoes will lose their cushioning after three to six months of regular use (or 350 to 500 miles of running). If you don’t always log your weekly mileage, it is important to stay aware of when your shoes need to be replaced.As an alternative to mileage, check out the wear patterns on the sole of your shoes as this can act as a good indicator for replacement. Any time the shoe appears to be wearing down unevenly, especially at the heel, it is time to replace them. Additionally, if the tread on the soles of the shoes has worn flat, or they are no longer absorbing the pounding and jarring action, you are more likely to sustain ankle, shin and knee injuries so it is time to change.
When purchasing new exercise shoes, you will be faced with a wide range of choices from shoes with a chip to track your mileage to shoes claiming to ‘shape your butt’. So many choices can complicate and confuse matters let alone become expensive. You can find yourself spending anywhere from £30 – £150 for the latest shoe – just remember a high price tag and gadgets does not guarantee the best fit for your feet. You need to look for a pair that provides excellent support, cushioning and fit all achievable at a moderate price.
Guidelines for Buying Trainers
If you engage in a specific activity two or three times each week, such as running, power walking or aerobics, you’ll want shoes designed specifically for that sport. Multipurpose shoes, often referred to as cross trainers, may be a good alternative if you participate in several activities in one session, eg cardio & weights.
In my opinion, look for a specialist athletic store that is recommended or has a good reputation locally. If you are a runner, power walker or a new mum with bigger feet and lowered arches, specialist running stores that offer gait analysis are vital, their sales staff are knowledgeable about selecting appropriate shoes for you and your activity and will assess your gait before recommending anything.
If you have high-arches you will need greater shock absorption. High arches can lead to instability & ankle sprains. Low-arches or flat feet require less cushioning, but greater support in the mid-foot region and better heel control – this is often the case with new mums whose arches may have fallen due to the effects of relaxin during pregnancy.
Get fitted toward the end of the day. Your foot size may increase by half a shoe size during the course of a day.
Press the end of the shoe with your thumb and ensure there is space between your big toe and the end of the shoe. This allows for foot size increases, a variety of socks and foot movement within the shoe without hurting your toes.
Ensure you have plenty of room for your toes to wiggle without experiencing slippage in the heel.
Common areas for blisters are sides and back of feet and top of toes. Rotate your foot and ankles in new shoes to make sure they don’t rub or pinch.
Invest in trainer socks. They are well worth the extra few pennies and will make your shoes feel snug and cosy.