When to Retire Running Shoes

When to Retire Running Shoes
For runners, running shoes are a constant investment. Wearing worn-out running shoes makes the runner more prone to injury. According to a 1985 report in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, running shoes lose approximately 60 percent of their shock absorption capability after they have been used for 250 to 500 miles of running. The journal reported that wear was similar in all brands of running shoes. With this knowledge at hand, running shoes should be retired after about 300 miles of running use. Depending on the shoe, the terrain and the individual runner, wear of running shoes will vary. Regularly inspect the shoes for wear to determine when it is time to buy new running shoes.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Be aware of how your body feels when running. Running shoes often need to be replaced before any signs of wear are visible. If the shoes do not feel as comfortable as they once did, it is time to replace them. The best sign that your shoes should be retired is joint or bone pain after running. Pain symptoms include foot pain, knee pain and shin pain. These pain symptoms are a sign that your running shoes are no longer providing the shock absorption that they once did.
Step 2
Look at the condition of your running shoes. If the uppers look worn out or are coming apart, it is time to retire the shoes. If the uppers are separating from the soles, the shoes should be retired. Wear in any part of the shoes means that they are not providing the foot support or proper fit that they once did.
Step 3
Feel and look at the inside of your running shoes. Are the insoles visibly worn or have they lost their cushion and appear flattened? If you answered yes, it is time to retire your shoes because they are not providing full shock absorption.
Step 4
Inspect the soles of your running shoes. Do the soles look worn? If they do, it is time to replace them. Worn soles do not provide proper traction. Even worse, unevenly worn soles cause the position of the feet to sit improperly, which can lead to back injury. To check and see if the soles of your running shoes are unevenly worn, set the shoes on top of a table. Kneel down so that the shoes are at eye level. If the shoes are tilted, the soles are unevenly worn. Tap the shoes with your hands to see if they wobble. If the shoes wobble, they are unevenly worn.

Tips & Warnings

 
Running shoes that are not unevenly worn or are not uncomfortable can be worn during normal daily non-athletic activities. Help the environment by giving your retired running shoes to an athletic shoe recycling program. Athletic shoe recycling programs recycle used athletic shoes into playground and sporting equipment. Check your local sporting goods store to see if it has a collection box for athletic shoes.
 
Running shoes that are not unevenly worn or are not uncomfortable can be worn during normal daily non-athletic activities.
 
Help the environment by giving your retired running shoes to an athletic shoe recycling program. Athletic shoe recycling programs recycle used athletic shoes into playground and sporting equipment. Check your local sporting goods store to see if it has a collection box for athletic shoes.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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