Good supportive running shoes that have been properly fitted for your gait and running style are the essential piece of kit for all runners. Running shoes more so than any other type of sports or performance footwear take the most abuse, they will literally carry you every kilometre of your training and no mater how comfy or how sentimental your runners might be they have a shelf life and need to be replaced when worn out.
What happens as runners wear out?
The materials that makes up the sole of your running shoe is designed to absorb shock and disperse pressure, the sole of a running shoe will be made of either a high-quality foam, or structured layers of materials to give you the most protection. With every step these materials start to degrade, the bubbles in the foam material start to burst and harden and the rigid structures that hold your foot in place start to wear out. After enough hours or kilometres your high tech runners are not helping to protect your joints and reduce impact on your body.
How often should you replace them?
How often to replace your runners depends on three key factors:
- How many kilometres are you doing per week? If you are raining for a marathon vs training for a fun run the impact on your runners will be different. Typically, a mid distance runner would replace their shoes every 6 months.
- What kind of conditions are your running in? If you are running on hard surfaces mostly like asphalt or running off road on trails this will add more stress to your shoes and you may need to replace them more frequently.
- Do you need special support with your foot position? Over pronating or supinating ( rolling your feet inwards or outwards as you run ) will place uneven pressure on your shoes – even if they are designed to help correct your stride the weight distribution will not be even and more pressure will be placed on certain areas of the shoe.