So how does one go about making their shoes last longer? There are a couple of variables you need to consider before following the tips below. First, what kind of runner are you? Do you have a heavy strike or a light strike? Are you an efficient runner? Second, what materials are your shoes made of and do they match your personal needs? Lightweight runners with a neutral landing pattern and efficient form can find their best mileage in lightweight or minimalist shoes. However, someone with a heavy body and strike, wearing the same shoes, will get fewer miles out of their shoes.
- Shoes have a birthday! Write the purchase date on the side of the shoes and keep track of your mileage with a paper or online log.
- Use them just for running. Yeah, we know, you want to show off your cool kicks, but by doing so, you're putting unnecessary miles on your shoes. If you have to do errands after your run, make sure you bring a pair to change into while you're out. Just like with anything else, the more you use it, the faster it wears out!
- Give them some air! And by air, we don't mean the dryer, which will break down the shoe materials quicker (and make a heck of a racket while they're drying). If your shoes are wet from sweat or rain, wipe them off with a brush or paper towel, towel dry, and stuff with newspaper or paper towel. This will keep them from getting moldy and musty. And never leave them in your gym bag!
- Have two pairs. If you're a distance runner especially, make sure you have two pairs that you switch during the week. This allows the other pair to dry out and gives the shoes time to recover (shoes need time to recover too!). By doing this, you can tailor your shoes to your specific workouts; one shoe may be better suited to longer distances while your other pair may be better for shorter distances. This is also a great way to work in minimalist shoes if you're thinking of going that route.
- Buy your shoes based on the terrain. If you run wet, muddy trails, purchase shoes that are specifically for that type of terrain. Wearing shoes that are meant for city streets or treadmills will wear out very quickly when running on grass, dirt, or sand.
- Keep your shoes out of the weather. Don't leave your sneakers in your car overnight or during the day while you're working, especially in the winter or summer months. Extreme temperatures can change the shape and size of your shoe and therefore you'll go fewer miles.
- Change your form. Perhaps your shoes aren't lasting you as long as they should because your running form needs to be changed. Are you keeping a short, even tempo and a straight line from your head to your toes? If not, then work on how you run. Watch elite runners to get an idea how you can better your form, but know that this will take time to master your perfect and efficient running form.
- Don't go beyond your limit! Everyone has a limit as to how far they can run in one day, one week, one month, or one year. If when you're running you're feeling fatigued and sloughing through your workout, stop. When you go beyond your limit it takes a toll on your shoes because they're taking the brunt of your impact.
References: Runner's World and Health
If you are a runner with a foot or ankle problem, call our Rocky Hill or Middletown office to make an appointment.
Jeffrey S. Kahn, DPM
Connecticut Foot Care Centers
Sports Medicine Podiatrist in CT
Podiatrist in Rocky Hill and Middletown, CT
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