At Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists, Dr. Richard Nichols and Dr. Joseph Harvey and the rest of our staff are always thrilled to hear that our patients are getting active and working to live healthy lives. For many, the pandemic has made going to the gym too risky, and we’ve seen a large number of people either taking up running for the first time or returning to it after a long break.
We’re happy to help if you find that you need our sports medicine services. It isn’t uncommon for runners to experience issues with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, hammertoe, or other foot or ankle ailments. You may want to consider a quick consultation before you begin running so that we can advise you on how to run safely, or if you’re feeling any chronic pain or having specific issues, we’re always happy to help.
Running is great for your health, and as far as sports go, it’s fairly inexpensive. The one big investment you need to make, though, is in your running shoes. Since running shoes can be expensive -- although they don’t have to be -- you may think they will last for years.
Replacing your running shoes regularly helps keep your feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back feeling great so that you can keep running. In this post, we explain how to know when to replace your running shoes and offer a few tips on making sure they are the right shoes for you.
It’s an Individual Thing
The first thing you need to know about how often you need to replace your running shoes depends on several factors. There isn’t a set schedule to which every runner can or should adhere.
For example, your weight makes a difference. If you’re heavier, your shoes will wear out faster. People who weigh less can probably get a few more miles out of their shoes.
Even things like your foot strike -- how your foot hits the ground -- make a big difference in how long a pair of shoes will last. If your heel hits the ground first, or if it drags or scuffs a bit, your shoes will wear out fast.
The general rule is that you should replace your shoes about every 500 miles or so, but that is just a guideline. The frequency of your running shoe replacement may be different from the general guideline.
Understand Your Foot
One of the reasons it’s a good idea to visit Alliance Foot & Ankle early in your running training is so that you can get to know your own feet. For example, you need to know if your foot is wider than average when you shop for running shoes, whether your arch is high or low, and whether your foot rotates inward or outward with each step.
Knowing about the biomechanics of your feet can help you understand which shoes are likely to work best for you, as well as how and where they are likely to wear out first.
Signs Your Shoes Are Worn
Besides tracking your mileage and knowing how your feet move when you run, you should watch for the following signs to know when to replace your shoes:
Something New Hurts
If you find that your knee hurts after a run, but it didn’t a month ago, it could indicate it’s time for new shoes. Any new ache or pain that develops following a run could mean you’re ready to replace your shoes.
Soreness and Stiffness
Do your feet feel sore and stiff after a run? Do you need to massage and stretch them? Soreness, especially in your arch, could be related to the materials in your shoes wearing out.
You Can See Wear
When the treads on your shoes show visible wear, you probably need to replace them. Appearing worn isn’t always a great indicator that you need to replace your shoes -- often, worn out shoes don’t actually look worn out -- but visible tread wear can change how your foot rolls with each step.
If you’re getting blisters or raw spots, you need new shoes. The material wears out, and the shape of your shoe can change over time. New blisters from your favorite shoes mean it’s time for some shopping.
To learn more about how to keep your feet and ankles healthy as a runner, book an appointment at Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists. We’re happy to evaluate your situation, provide advice, and suggest shoes that might work for you. Make sure to also call for an appointment with our Heavenly Steps Footwear store which features Brooks running shoes!