Running shoes are a running essential…I know rocket science that ain’t it?! Many of us use them at least 2/3/4 even 5 times a week and obviously mileage is a key factor for shoe life-but what is that figure? How else can we improve the fit and durability of our most prized shoes? Below I’ll chat through 4 of my top tips for looking after the pretty little things 😊
Firstly shoe life can be determined by a number of factors. Mainly how long the EVA material can maintain strength, shock absorbency and responsiveness. On average shoe brands suggest shoe life to be 400-500miles. By rule of thumb if you run roughly 20-30k, a week you’re looking at around 9months to a year. However, this can vary depending on frequency of use and even how much you weigh.
With reference to frequency I mean if you have two shoes in rotation at once then they may last longer; conversely if you use one pair for everything from running to walking and fitness classes 3/4times a week it may be more like 6months. Best way to tell? Listen to your joints! If you go for a run and knees or shins hurt and you haven’t upped mileage or anything asses the age of shoes as the cushioning may be shot! How do I put this eloquently…a Shetland pony (miniature horse) is not going to be able to carry a 200kg man on a 20mile ride but a tall stallion will. Comprende? Basically make sure the shoe has enough meat in, if you know you crush shoes easily be wary of this and go for a stronger longer shoe to save your feet and your bank account!
How to keep those beauties looking nice! Firstly, NEVER EVER EVER EVER put your shoes in the washing machine. Promise me? It’s a cardinal sin. This is because shoe materials are bonded under high heat to form the supportive uppers. When you put them in the machine they are re-heated and this can actually damage the life of the shoe and even put you at more chance of injury. So just don’t please. If they need a clean, use some good old fashioned elbow grease! Grab an old toothbrush and some luke warm water and scrub away. If there’s mud allow that to dry first then hit the mud off after.
Now don’t be embarrassed some runners feet absolutely HUMM. If you’re one of them it’s fine, it’s normal! Trust me I see it in my job everyday! Easy way to keep shoes smelling fresh? Grab any newspaper and rip out a few pages, screw them up into a ball and put them inside your shoes overnight. Next morning they will smell far fresher. Newspaper helps as it absorbs some of the latent moisture and this the odour. Another way of you don’t mind a small expense are sneaker balls which can be purchased in many running shops or online retailers such as Amazon or SportsDirect!
This is more referring to where you apply the most force through your shoes. If you are in the wrong shoe your shoes may be wearing in the wrong place and thus wearing out quicker. 70-80 people strike laterally on their heels. I always see runners in appointments at work who complain that the shoe wears loads in this area. This is actually pretty unavoidable as you are always going to initially strike in this region and it’s ok! Most shoe manufacturers make this area of the shoe very cushioned to help absorb the shock in this region. If your shoe wears most medially (inside of the heel) this could be an indication you are in the wrong shoe or should at least go an get analysed to check why.
Lastly, wear in the forefoot can also be varied. Many people are very lateral, some are medial (so bury the big toe as the propel off) but ideal you mainly want wear to be centralised. If it is not its not essential the wrong shoe but may indicate where most of you force is distributed! Lastly, I’m not even sure I have to say this but if you place you shoe on the floor and it doesn’t sit straight and is leaning either side, you need a new shoe. If there’s a whole in the outsole, you need a new shoe. If there’s a hole in the upper at the toes you’re likely to just have super flexible toes that over flex-look for more durable uppers.
Hope those little tips help! Any question shout below and any requests for posts on certain injuries just get in touch!