On the first Friday of this year I took my ‘annual’ pilgrimage to buy new trainers. I have put annual in inverted commas because with the miles that I run you should change them more often than that and so always enter the shop knowing that I will get a bit of teasing about the state of the trainers I am wearing.
This year, due to my injury the jokes had started even before I went to the shop. The physio took one look at them and, politely (at first) suggested that I should invest in a new pair. I can see his point. The soles are worn bare so there is next to no grip. Obviously they were dirty but the worse thing was that any support is probably almost non-existent, hence possibly the injury?
So how often should you change your shoes?
The man in the shop said 300-500 miles which also seems to be the consensus having done a google search. (ooops I did more like 700!) They do make it clear that it depends on you as an individual. We are all different shapes, sizes and run with our own individual style. One thing to be sure, worn out shoes will probably mean that your body starts to give you niggles.
On my search I did find this handy little shoe tracker to help you keep an eye on how many miles you are running.
How many pairs of running shoes should you have?
Apparently more than one and by this I don’t mean 1 pair for the road and 1 for trail, but 2 pairs that you can rotate between. My husband thinks that I am having him on but there are good reasons for this. There are the obvious ones such as there will always be plenty of time to allow shoes to dry out between wet runs. The gel and foam within your shoes also needs time to recover after a run. If you don’t do this then they will lose their bounce more quickly. It will also mean that you will not find yourself in the situation that I find myself, having a pair that is fit for the bin with another pair that needs breaking in gently. Normally the idea of doing a few short runs is painful for me (it will obviously not be a problem for me as I shall only be doing short distances when I start running again!)
Having two pairs does not mean spending more money than otherwise as they will last the same amount of time or even longer.
Where should you buy your shoes?
I am a great believer in going to proper running shops. Yes they are more expensive but the service I had was excellent. I was filmed on a treadmill wearing neutral shoes and then ones with progressively more support. You might think that once they found a pair that suited me they would sell me those but no. They found 3. I was then sent outside to run around to see which ones I really liked. The whole experience was lovely. I also got to spend an hour or so talking with someone who really got running and what it means to me.
I wonder how long these will look like this? They certainly scream NEW SHOES!