Whether you’re running 5 miles daily or walking around the park with your dog, there is a good chance you need new running shoes. Over time, the rubber and foam that make up the bottoms of your shoes begins to wear down. To make sure your foot is getting the best support from your shoes, it's important to be mindful of how long you’ve had a pair of shoes, how far those shoes have traveled, and how much wear you notice on that pair of shoes.
Check the wear
You can see how worn a shoe is by looking at the bottom and the inside sole. If you can see the indent of your foot on the inside of the shoe, it can indicate that the foam has broken down and is no longer providing any cushion. By looking at the bottom, you can tell what part of your foot is taking the most wear while you are walking or running. This part of the shoe will seem smoother than other parts of the shoe bottom. We usually see this in the heel of a shoe or over the big toe, but each foot is different and the wear of your shoe will depend on your gait.
Can I just get new orthotics for my favorite old running shoes?
While the orthotics might help provide some support, it does not make up for the wear on an old pair of shoes. Orthotics can wear out just like shoes can, so it is important to remember to change those out as well.
How do I know when it’s time for a new pair of shoes?
You can look up the suggested mileage for your specific brand of shoe and use that to help gage how long your shoes are recommended to last, (google: how many miles can I put on a _________ running shoe?). These are approximations, so there is no need to keep track of every single mile you travel in those shoes. Before you wear out a shoe, it is always a good idea to start breaking in a new pair of shoes. Some great ways to break in a shoe are to wear your new shoes while you warm up for a run, then switch for the bulk of your run.
Not sure if the shoes you have are right for you? Bring them into the clinic during your next appointment and we would be happy to take a look.