Breaking up is hard to do. Your shoes have become good friends: they've protected you and supported you in your fitness efforts, even when nobody else did. They've been with you through trials and triumphs. But sometimes even good relationships must come to an end.
But how do you know when that time has come?
First of all, if your body is beginning to hurt it's time to consider replacement.
Shoes are usually designed for the average runner with an average size, an average running style and over certain types of terrain for somewhere between 300 and 465 miles . If you are heavier than most folks or taller than most, it will affect the wear of your shoes. Your style of running (how your foot strikes the surface) can affect the wear on your shoes. Finally many shoes are designed to be used on certain types of surfaces - most are for road running. Think about your usual runs - just streets or do you go through the park or over rocky terrain, too? It all affects the wear.
Check the soles of your shoes - are they run down smooth or worn through? Some shoes are built with clear indicators that show up when the sole is too worn down.
Check the uppers - are they worn through in spots? These can indicate you need to get a better fit on your next pair of shoes. Worn through on the sides? You may need a half size larger or maybe just a wider shoe. If they are wearing through at the toes, your shoes may be too short.
Check the inside of the heel - is it fraying or wearing down? You can try tying your laces a little tighter to give you more support on your upper foot or wearing longer socks. If the plastic heel cup inside is showing, it's time to toss them.
Sometimes the wear is not visible. The material in the sole can harden over time and the shoe loses it springiness - it's time to replace them.
If you want to find out more, watch this 8 minute video from the Global Triathlon Network - very informative.
The holidays are coming up, it's not too early to start dropping hints about gift cards to your favorite shoe store. When you go to replace your shoes, take your old pair with you. A trained salesperson in our store can tell a lot about the type of shoes you need by the wear and tear on the previous pair. Think of them as "shoe whisperers" - science, training and experience will help you get a better pair of shoes.
Until the next time - stay safe and keep on running!