As with any activity it is important to have the right equipment and ensure that the equipment is in good working order. With running or walking your most important piece of equipment (other than strong muscles and good joint mobility) is your shoes! They can wear and break down quickly under the right circumstances. Here are 5 signs that you may need new shoes:
Running shoes will last 400-500 miles, minimalist shoes are expected to hold up for 300-400 miles. Like tires on your car there will be a breakdown over time causing you to lose the support and cushion the shoe is supposed to provide your foot.
Athletic shoes of any type have a shelf life of about 6-9 months, after which the components that comprise the shoe will begin to lose their elasticity. At that time, cushioning and support will begin to decrease while the risk for traumatic, repetitive injury begins to increase.
If you have gradual or sudden onset of pain in your feet, knees, hips, or back without a change in running/walking volume or intensity, it may be time to change shoes.
- Physical Damage
While running, barbs, nails, or sharp rocks can puncture the cushioning system of your shoe, whether it’s air, gel, or another system. This will compromise the integrity of your shoe and make you susceptible to injury.
- Wearing Pattern
We all have subtle differences in our running/walking mechanics which can lead to uneven wear patterns and contribute to even greater compensatory patterns in our mechanics. Therefore, it is important to regularly check your tread wear pattern to determine if early replacement is necessary to avoid injury.
Finding the right shoe for your running/walking pattern, your foot, and your activity type/intensity is crucial to reduce injury. We hope these tips help, but if you’d like more assistance, give us a call at Corvallis Sport and Spine and our Physical Therapists will get you running/walking in the right shoes and on the right path!
– Carrol Esterhuizen, MSPT